Post # 1
I really need advice from people that are not close to my situation regarding my mother. I’m getting married soon but I don’t know if I can continue to have a relationship with my mother for my own sanity.
My mother is a classic narcissist. She has to be center of attention at all times & finds a way to make everything about her. She is as mean and nasty as they come. There are times when I sit and listen to her and I’m speechless because I ant believe the things that come out of her mouth.
Back story: My mother has always been this way but no one in the familycalls her out on her behavior to her face except me which causes a lot of arguments between us. Back in June my uncle was hit by a car crossing a overpass and died at the scene. He was my grandmothers baby and this nearly distorted her. Well my grandmother left the responsibility of planning his funeral up to her kids because she nor my grandfather could bring themselves to do it. Instead of my mom stepping up and being there for her mother she calls me in a fit of rage cursing about how my grandmother doesn’t care about her and she feels left out…right her brother dies and she finds a way to make it all about her.
This past week she calls me going off about me not buying my brothers children anything for Christmas this year (it’s october) I have 8 nieces and nephews and I simply cannot afford it at this time she blows up and says I must get my brothers kids a gift because I do so every year. To hell with my sisters kids she can get a job and buy for her own kids.. I firmly tell her no and she unleashes on me, talking down to me about how money isn’t an issue for her and hangs up in my face.
she then calls around to other family members and plays the victim and blames everything on me WOW! This is what she does. She instigates drama then goes around playing victim to gain sympathy and I just can’t do it anymore. I’m exhausted and I just don’t see any good from me keeping her in my life but she’s my mother and that’s easier said than done….Advice please!
Post # 2
MilkCookies81: I’m tired, and not full of terribly good advice right now, sorry, but I just wanted to say that families are freakin’ tricky things, and I think it’s near impossible to ‘cut’ someone out of your life like that completely if you want to have anything to do with the other family members. This seems like it would be especially true in your case if the other family members don’t call her out on her behaviour, i.e. they are more likely to go along with her to keep the peace.
For now, I would strongly encourage you to think about what you can do to create strict boundaries and distance for a while. Easier said than done, I know, but likely to be your best option… at least for now. For instance, maybe you could screen your calls to avoid getting dragged into this type of drama with her, but set aside a particular time once a fortnight or month where you make an effort to call and check in. Even if she unleashes, you can semi contain it to one evening, which might make you feel like you have the control back.
Alternatively, you could try and encourage another format of contact, such as emailing. The power of an email to disrupt your life (should it be unpleasant) is far less than that of a phone call with someone screaming in your ear.
One last thing I’ll say (which I hope I don’t get flamed for) is that it’s worth keeping an open mind about how the future might be with your Mum. It would be wise to protect yourself, given past experience, but it’s also not impossible that she may mellow out a little. I know quite a few people (myself included) that have struggled to manage with unpredictable mothers, but found the dynamic of the relationship changed significantly after menopause had well and truly passed. Just a random thought – I’m definitely not saying that’s the cause in your case.
Post # 3
Have you ever stood up to her and called her out for being such a cow. Sounds like she needs a reality check.
Post # 4
MilkCookies81: I am so sorry to hear about the relationship with your mother. Everyone’s situation is different; however, your mother may or may not change in this lifetime without some intensive therapy. I would suggest setting boundries with her. For instance, when she goes there, it’s not worth arguing with her, you will never win because she doesn’t seem to view things from a rational perspestive. It is best to simply end the conversations when she goes there and don’t entertain it. My father always said for some “negative attention, is better than no attention at all”. So as long as your mother has an audience, she will continue.
The next time she goes there, simply say “mom I can’t do this with you”, I love you but I am hanging up now.
I have encoutered people like this before and the are very exhausting to deal with because the relationships are very one sided, everythihg is about them. I have a cousin who acts this way and I have to “feed her with a long handle spoon”.
Post # 5
Miss_Mae: This is very sound and sage advice
Post # 6
Just cut ties. I’ve learned that life is way to short to have toxic people in it causing more harm than good. She will likely never change.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2014 - Merritt Winery
MilkCookies81: I can’t really get too involved in my response because I’m at work! But, I wanted to stop in and tell you that this sounds a lot like the relationship I had with my mom. I can tell you what I did. I refused to talk about anything as soon as it got escalated. If it was on the phone, I would tell her that she already had my answer and if there was nothing else she wanted to talk about, we had to end the conversation. In every day conflict resolution, I find that asking this simple question snaps some angry people back into reality…”What is your ideal outcome of this situation?” Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t! I did have to cut way back on communication with my mom for some time. I can tell you the #1 thing that helped. She finally realized that she needed therapy. We attended some sessions together but she mailny worked on herself. She still has her moments now and then. Overall though, things are so much better. As far as her telling other family members about situations and starting drama, my mom did that too. I did not care at all about that. I was fine with being the bad guy! Well, so much for not giving an indepth answer! Good luck to you.
Post # 8
MilkCookies81: Honestly it sounds like she has a big problem where she might need therapy. So I feel like people like that, you can stand up to all you want, but until they get help, they won’t “get it”. You know what I mean? I would absolutely distance myself from her. If that means skipping birthdays, Xmases, and whatever, so be it.
Post # 9
MilkCookies81: my mother is the same way. however, i have a big problem with cutting ties with certain people, my mother and sister are two of those people who I cannot bring myself to cut out.
Let me put it this way, I love my mother because she is my mother, but I don’t like her. I don’t like how she puts her Boyfriend or Best Friend first over her children. She has always been this way, she has always been jealous of how close my sister and I were with our father (who passed away when we were very young). I have A LOT of resentment towards my mother, I have been to therapy over it, because at one point I was so angry and felt so engraged over how she treated me, I had to go to therapy to let it out. I tried talking with her but she puulls the victim card all.the.effing.time. So there is no talking to her.
When it came time for my wedding she did nothing but aggravate me, I ignored her. Now that I moved out, things are better, and its that much easier for me to just keep my distance. I talk to her about once a week and doesn’t give room for arguments, if I do speak with her and I see that its not going in a good direction, I will end the conversation.
The reason I can’t cut myself out of her life completely is because my mom and sister are the only immediate family I have, so I try to make the best of the situation.
Post # 10
Thank all of you for responding! I received great advice. I think its best for me to distance myself for a while, possibly seek counseling on how to deal with her and the resentment I have towards her. Again thanks so much!
Post # 11
Check out DWIL nation. They’re all about dealing with in laws and your own family. You can talk to a lot of people who have chosen to either cut someone off or enforced strict boundaries instead. I’ve found the ladies over there to be super helpful in dealing with my own family.
Post # 12
why arent you buying them any gifts for Christmas? How about ten dollar gift certificate a piece? Could you two ten dollar gift certificates from each week for four weeks? MilkCookies81:
Post # 13
2good: If the OP can’t afford it, she can’t afford it, but you’re missing the larger picture here. That was merely an example of how her mother is trying to dictate her life and then plays the victim when OP doesn’t go along with it. She’s asking for advice on how to deal with her mother, not how to afford Christmas gifts. Your post is irrelevant to the topic she is asking about.
OP, I don’t know much about dealing with narcissistic parents, but I do know that there is a good support forum on Reddit. They have a lot of experience with what you’re going through and would probably have better advice than Weddingbee. http://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/
Post # 14
MilkCookies81: As the daughter of a narcissist mother that will NEVER take responsibility for her mistakes, I totally hear you.
I don’t know much about your situation growing up, but you’re married and have started a new life, a new family unit. You no longer have to feel tied to one causing so much emotional distress. I wouldn’t saying cutting the ties indefinitely is the answer, but taking a step back and time away would be healthy. She needs to have some time to herself to really understand how her actions are affecting the people she is supposed to love and care about. She wants the attention (even negative attention) for herself, and must be denied that.
She has no right to butt into your relatiobship with other family members (your brother/ sister and neices/nephews) and she needs to know that. Most of all, she needs to know that her actions will not control you anymore. Take time away to clear that toxic relationship, and when YOU’RE ready to talk again, see if she’ll listen then.