No Contact with the Narcissist… “But, she’s your mother.”

We were born into a culture of idolising our mothers. People expect us to sit themthYS3WK643 gracefully on a pedestal, regardless of what they did, or who they became. When a mother and child’s relationship breaks down, there seems to be a predisposition to place the blame on the offspring.

I appreciate how difficult it is for those from functional backgrounds to understand how I could cut my mother off in the first place. People imagine the scenario to be fraught with a wide spectrum of grief. Their lips utter the words without thinking, “But, she’s your mother.”

As soon as people realise my experience is not as they imagine, they view my attitude with a mixture of suspicion and sympathy, their eyes say it all, ‘Awe, poor man… surely he must feel loss’. Many of them say, “But, she’s your mother.”

“Why don’t you try something different,” one woman suggested at last week’s group. I guess my course of action must be playing on her mind because we hadn’t discussed my mother for several weeks. “Write to your mum and tell her how you feel.” She continued, “You might never hear from her again, but at least you tried… what else can you do?” She shrugged, “she’s your mother.”

When I admitted to everyone in the group that the only worry on my mind is regarding what to do if a family members dies, heads nodded enthusiastically, each assuming the devastation and guilt.

It’s not the first time I’ve listened to how I ought to be reacting and it will not be the last when I go in search of those elusive feelings of loss, guilt, or any prospect of reconciliation. I’ve asked many times, where is my sense of loss?

The no contact rule with my narcissistic mother has come as a last resort. The sole intention is to free up enough headspace to address the issues that affect me today. I tried to live harmoniously alongside mum for many years. The first and most important aim was always to please her first, until I eventually realised this was unlikely to ever be successful.

I next moved towards the healthy distance option, while attempting to rise above the manipulation and covert abuse. This only riled mum’s frustration to control and she would only try harder to tear down any boundaries that stood in her way. We would run through her familiar spectrum of volatile moods, and ultimately, the silent treatment.

My sense of loss encompasses all those years I grieved when mum said I was a mistake or when they used intimidation and violence, just because they had the power to do as they pleased. I wept as a teenager for the paternal bond that never was and cried in early adulthood for the criticism that spilled from their mouths. I even questioned if they really were my parents and bawled when I realised they were.

When the group member suggested that I email mum again, it came as a bit of a blow. Her flippancy seems to undermine the blood, sweat, and tears, but her ignorance is forgivable because it’s difficult to appreciate the full flavour of a narcissist unless you’ve been there.

Sending a more detailed email assumes I might appreciate a potential resolution and whenever a person imagines a family death might influence my guilt and grief, they are wrong. The truth is, a close bereavement is the only event that would bring mum out of the woodwork, and the expectations are what I dread the most.

Of course, there is still hurt and anger leftover from the abuse and dysfunction, but arriving at my decision has nothing to do with anger or an inability to forgive the narcissistic mother. It’s not a means to resolve and would never generate a meek response or entice reconciliation.

Staying in touch with a narcissistic mother who is incapable of unconditional love only generates toxicity, which links directly to the source of the emotional and psychological damage. Severing communication is about reclaiming control of my own life and creating a healthier environment to begin healing.

While it may feel unimaginable to ‘divorce’ from one’s own mum, it’s equally difficult for me to imagine what it’s like to experience a maternal relationship based on unconditional love and acceptance. When someone says, “But it’s your mother,” I only want to reply, “So what.”

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147 thoughts on “No Contact with the Narcissist… “But, she’s your mother.”

  1. Americana Injustica

    This really hit home for me to read today, as I can most certainly relate all too well with your circumstance.
    I wish you healing, and if you need to cut ties with your mother because she is unhealthy for you, that is just how the cookie crumbles; don’t let anyone tell you anything at all about it, especially if they are being shitty or judgmental. For some of us, these seemingly impossible decisions are a hard, cold reality in order to survive and trudge on. My thoughts and energies are with you, friend…you are not alone in this Hellish situation – and I am in your corner. xx

    Liked by 5 people

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi, so good to hear from you. I can sense by your words that you know exactly where I’m coming from. People’s reactions are interesting, but they would never sway me in any way. Thank you for such an encouraging comment, it means a great deal and I wish you healing too 🙂

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  2. Priceless Joy

    I certainly know how you feel. Only in my situation, it is me saying, “but she’s my mother.” I can’t say my mom is as narcistic as your mom but I’m not really sure what that is. All I know is she turns family members against me and is somewhat “nice” to my face and sticks the knife into my back. She manipulative, plays mean games, and is constantly “passively” “getting back at me.” I want to do what you did but I don’t want to hurt my brother. What he thinks of me, does matter to me. I am so sick and tired of it, so sick and tired of her.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I’ve said, “but she’s my mother” many times in the past, nothing wrong with that. Some people can do what I did and some chose to do it your way. By what you say in this comment, it sounds like your mum is manipulative at best and perhaps someone with narcissistic characteristics. Either they, they are exhausting, but it sounds like you maintain your boundaries fairly well, which helps. Thanks for commenting, Joy, always helpful 🙂

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  3. littlevoicetalks

    Only one way to deal with a narcissist, cut them off. Then not one thing can be used to their advantage to play push-pull and neither then are you ever remotely vulnerable to their manipulation. Regardless of someone’s relationship as Mother (or father in my case), love and respect are to be earned. And blood might be thicker than water but that’s just viscosity. If someone is toxic, then they are toxic, end of story. If something makes us ill, why should we ingest. I don’t see people drinking bleach which can obviously kill a person. And so can a narcissist. The damage devastating.

    Xx

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    1. lynettedavis

      I so agree with you. Abuse is a form of hate. If someone abuses to you, continues to abuse you (and I might add blames you for the reason that they’re abusing you), and you are aware of what they are doing, why would you continue a relationship with that person?

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      1. littlevoicetalks

        Absolutely. It’s about protecting oneself and allowing personal growth. Being an extension of someone’s’ personality, squashes the beauty of being a unique and individual soul. Xx

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      2. Cat Post author

        That’s spot on, Lynette. Sometimes people’s abuse of us is actually their own self-hatred. Once we are aware, it somehow feels wrong to allow it to continue, although breaking up is often impossible for some people.

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    2. Cat Post author

      I totally agree, the love and respect is earned. It’s not enough to have clean beds or food on the table, which we were made to feel eternally grateful for.,
      I love the analogy of ingesting something toxic, so true, thank you so much 🙂

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  4. New Journey

    Good for you to know that you need to care for yourself first….it is sad that some mothers are incapable of love for their children…but so glad that you recognize the fact that no matter what you do, or how you do it, or how many times you do it, it won’t make a difference, ever, never…you should never carry guilt for your mothers actions…this is on her, not you….do not take let yourself take that on….my advice for whatever its worth….head high, get on with enjoying your life, no regrets, no guilt, fill your life with people that make you a better person, who appreciate you for you and never look back….full steam ahead….my hats off to you….

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  5. sensuousamberville

    I shall adopt you. 🙂

    Though you feel remorse and will continue to do so, this is a tie that needed to be severed. You will grow stronger, but now, you have to do another hard thing, to stop feeling remorse, another part of forgiving, forgive yourself, move along looking to the future.

    let go, you are free now.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Um I thought you were too young to adopt me, Amber.

      This experience reminds me a little of when I came out in the early 80’s. I was under a mountain of criticism, prejudice, and all kinds of advice not to do it… “think of how it will affect others”, etc. But, it was right to push past the heartache trusting in an instinct that it was the right thing to do.

      But, Amber, am I showing remorse? I certainly don’t feel it, but I do feel free. Nevertheless, each time I learn more about narcissism, it validates my journey all the more and I only want to share what brings me so much peace and freedom

      Thank you

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      1. sensuousamberville

        You don’t need changing anymore do you? 😉

        You may feel remorse, the sense of loss mixed in with the feeling of freedom, it is confusing. We are human after all.

        The saying when one door closes another opens, The door may have closed on a relationship with your mother, but another has opened on your future and freedom… and yes your peace.

        ok, bedtime. off you go. 😉

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  6. lynettedavis

    When people say to me “but that’s your mother,” I tell them I didn’t have a mother. I had a guardian. There is a difference. NMs are not mothers, in any sense of the word, but to anyone that has had a loving mother, this is unfathomable. I understand what you’re going through. I have the same dilemma that you do, in the event of a death. I’ve already grieved, but I know I’m still going to have to deal with expectations from bereaved family. Funerals, for the most part, are for the bereaved family–to give each other support, not necessarily for the deceased. But even that’s difficult because our relationship with the would be deceased is not the same as the other grieving family members. This, at times, causes me a bit of distress too.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I don’t even see mine as a guardian, that suggests someone watching over me. My experience is just living under someone’s roof. Thanks, Lynette, it always helps to know other people get it

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      1. lynettedavis

        Cat, that was my experience too. I was trying to make it clear that I didn’t have a mother with one word. Thank you for that because I’m going to change this because they certainly weren’t looking out for me.

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  7. edwinasepisodes

    You know what is right for you Cat, and she does not behave like a mother anyway. I hope that you would have the strength to deal with a bereavement should (God forbid) it happen.

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  8. therabbitholez

    “But she’s your mother” lets see nobody expects a mother to abuse.demean,control, emotionally blackmail, treat you as you were nothing, these are not things mothers are supposed to do, but many do, and far too many go undected with the kind of behaviour, or if people do know they say nothing, but will listen to said mother about all your faults, and nod sagely as she is now left all alone, so easy isn’t it to blame a child, outward appearances men nothing.

    We know that bringing up kids is not easy especially when there are hardships, however aren’t parents supposed to love and nurture their children and bring them safely to adulthood when they can fend for themselves,terrorising, emotional &physical,sexual abuse does none of these things, it breaks people, leaves them unable to function, they miss out on so much simply because they don’t know how to give, trust, they live behind a wall of fear.

    It’s an unacceptable way to live, and to heal yourself, you must cut them off, their chance of living a life has gone yours hasn’t, and your doing o well in facing all that has happened in your life, you have hope, all she has is her deranged feelings of entitlement to treat others how she likes.

    Sorry to rant on,but it makes me angry when people insist we idolise what has given us our greatest fears.

    You told the truth and did the right thing, good for you.

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    1. Cat Post author

      The narcissistic mother has a knack of listing faults in a way that portrays her as caring and concerned and the martyred NM will add, “but I try my best and he never appreciates it.”

      The truth is, they never considered how their behaviour affected children because they think it is normal and perfect.

      It’s surprising just how many people seem to be somewhat resistant to my idea of no contact and it’s so obvious they disbelieve my claims of not wanting a resolve, very weird, but apparently, it is a common reaction when people decided on no contact with a mother

      Many thanks for your support and encouragement

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    2. lynettedavis

      This is a really good point. Normal parents try to equip their children to be self-sufficient adults. NMs (and fathers) attempt to cripple, and in some cases, destroy their children so that they cannot function as self-sufficient adults.

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      1. Cat Post author

        This reminds me of a scientific study I read about recently. Scientists wanted to replicate the effects of good/bad parenting using ducks and ducklings. The mechanical duck would painfully nip their little ducklings throughout their development, while the real duck nurtured their offspring.
        The little ducklings from the good mother-duck were secure to leave their mothers from an early age to explore the pond, while the other little ducklings clung to their abusive mother right into adulthood.

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        1. Jen

          This is fascinating, Cat, and clearly shows exactly my family dynamic. I am the oldest of 6 and the only one to face the truth so far and break away. Thank you for sharing!

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          1. Cat Post author

            Hi Jen…That was an intriguing result. My sister never once left home from the age of 12 to 18yrs old, unless to attend school. We’re so terrified of stepping on the narcissistic parent’s toes, we cling to their apron strings and if our early experience of adults is abusive, it’s only natural the world will seem a very scary place. Thank you for commenting!

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  9. Sharon Alison Butt

    ‘So what?’ indeed. Whatever happened to, ‘But he’s your son. He’s the child you conceived. He’s the baby you gave birth to. He’s the one you were supposed to nurture. He’s the victim.’ ???

    People just need to keep their gobs shut if they haven’t any wise remarks to make. It must be so frustrating for you always having to try to explain yourself. Don’t waste your energy on insensitive advice. You’re well rid of her.

    She is not your mother, just the female who produced you. Anyone can make a baby. A true mother and father do their best to love, protect and build up their children, not crush their spirits and abuse them in every form.

    So you have nothing to be ashamed of. They orphaned you long long ago and have no right to demand your time.

    Let the ignorant wallow in their judgements. They are not you and they have not had your life.

    You are doing well being so patient with these stupid comments.

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    1. Cat Post author

      “He’s your son.” Is a very good response that I”’ keep in mind, Sharon. I don’t take the “advice” too seriously, I got used to it when I came out many years ago. The same scenario, “stay true to myself”. Thank you, Sharon

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  10. D. Wallace Peach

    You have quite perceptive insights into your feelings and what’s required for a healthy life. A mother, to me, is more than a womb. Plenty of adopted people can tell us that mothering is more than giving birth. The vast majority of what defines mothering occurs after birth and has nothing to do with blood. It’s about relationship, love, kindness, forgiveness, support, tenderness, cheering successes, and comforting failures. If a woman believes she can be abusive and manipulative and still be a “mother”, she may be find herself sorely disappointed. Surround yourself with people who make you feel valued. They’re the ones who deserve your time and attention.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I always try to look for a solution, which may not be too easy to follow, but the knowledge helps all the same.
      I couldn’t agree more about the mothering after birth. That bond just didn’t seem to happen, but it took all these years for me to realise that wasn’t my fault. Thank you for your wise comment

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  11. Jean

    Reading this, when I came to the woman who suggested emailing her, I thought “Been there, done that, got the poisoned T-shirt.” Pple assume they have a great idea that you have never thought of and never tried too many times. It’s condescending.

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  12. mm172001

    There is an excellent article called “When abusive parents coming crawling back.” I have it on my blog somewhere. It’s not always the right thing to forgive. People may not agree, but I personally think some relationships are better cut off. I support your decision, whatever you decide.

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  13. Heather

    I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to tactfully or brutally advise people to break up with their parents. There seems to be a cultural phenomenon that an egg and a sperm somehow mean anything beyond a basic biological action. Parents are people, as such, they need to earn respect and love. Not just make a wet mess. Walk your own path, friend.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Trouble is, some parents think they automatically have love and respect because, well, they’re the perfect (narcissistic) parent. Thank you Heather

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  14. Anxious Mom

    Ugh how frustrating that has to be. You’ve lived a lot of your life and have only now arrived at the no contact decision. Obviously this wasn’t a decision you arrived at in haste. People should really be more mindful of their words and try to support you and your decision rather than try to dissuade you.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Yer, she is one of those people who think her way should work for everyone, but that doesn’t sway me, intriguing and a little annoying all the same 🙂 Thanks AM

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  15. manyofus1980

    You do what you want Cat, nevermind people trying to tell you otherwise. You’ve lived with her and you know her ways her manipulative ways of trying to break you. That person doesnt know her true colors. I’m sorry they upset you but I’m glad your sticking to your guns. X

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    1. Cat Post author

      I certainly will be sticking to my guns, no one could sway me. I’m kinda used to going against the crowd, anyway, so nothing new, eh? Thank you, Carol Anne

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  16. jamborobyn

    “But she’s your mother!”

    “Correct. She did give birth to me.” Sometimes I complete the sentence with “about XX years ago, what’s your point?”

    End of story, end of conversation. It shocks people even further, but it also seems to deter them from broaching the subject with me again. Sometimes I just laugh out loud as though they have made a particularly funny joke. I think your “So what?” response is incredibly efficient. Another wonderful post.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you, Robyn for the compliment. yes, I have much the same reaction in mind for future do-gooders poking their nose into my business. They must think I just suddenly woke up one morning and decided on no contact. Anyway, most of it is like water off a ducks back!

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    2. lynettedavis

      “But she’s your mother!” In my case, they’re even wrong about that. Now I tell them. “She was never a mother to me” but I know that most people have cognitive dissonance when it comes to the institution of motherhood.

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      1. jamborobyn

        That’s gold – cognitive dissonance! As in, “Excuse me, I think your cognitive dissonance is showing.” LOL! I have had two mothers, adopted and biological, both of which have done just as much harm as good for me. I’m over the whole idea. Someone needs to write ” The Narcissistic Mother’s Luck Club” where they all get together and moan about their ungrateful children, it will be a best seller.

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        1. Cat Post author

          True, narcissists will often think we are the ones who are narcissistic and will even go as far as to go no contact with us… to teach us a lesson. Thank you, Robyn

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  17. anupturnedsoul

    Reblogged this on An Upturned Soul and commented:
    This is a wonderfully written and concisely expressed perspective of what it is like to be the adult child of a narcissist trying to share your experience… in this case in an environment which should be safe for you to share openly without having to deal with the usual prejudice or inability of others to empathise, a place supposedly populated with those who understand, or at least know to keep quiet if they don’t understand because they’ve been through something too and might known what it’s like when others ply you with platitude tea and sympathy.

    I should add a warning: for those who are children of narcissists, please be careful while reading this, your head may come loose from too much nodding. You might also be inclined to bang said head against a hard surface as it might trigger a well known frustration.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ps. Something in it made me chuckle when I read it late last night, can’t recall what it was this morning, I think it may have been that bit about what happens when someone dies.

    My father died recently and it brought everyone I’d been avoiding for years (especially my mother) out of the woodwork, and all the chaos they bring with them. Even if you could feel grief or loss… there’s no time for you to feel it in the kerfuffle others cause.

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  18. Jen

    I can completely relate to your position, Ursula. I too have gone NC with my mom as a last resort and have suffered isolation as a result, from “friends” and family. I have people suggest all the time that I should try one more time. Like you, I have no regrets and I feel nothing but freedom since ending all contact. My brother recently married and I forced myself to go, at his request, to show him my support. I had the most horrible anxiety attacks for weeks after. It was traumatizing to be in the same space as my mother and I will not do it again, even for a death in the family.

    So, I say good for you. Good for you for respecting and loving yourself enough to leave a toxic, harmful environment. You and your decision are an inspiration to those of us who have been there, who are there, and who consider going there. Thank you.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Jen, This reaction we get from peers seems quite common amongst those who go NC. I relate to just how traumatising it was to be in the same space as your mum. IME, being in their company only screams out the distance between us and the lack of parental love, which is so heart breaking.

      Thank you for the encouragement, much appreciated

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  19. susanbotchie

    If i am not mistaken, the Bible tells us to stay away from the wicked. Some people are like that, and no matter how kind and considerate normal people strive to be, the wicked just continue to smear their foulness. Even the Lord walked away – and left them to their disgusting self delusions.

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    1. lynettedavis

      Thank you Susan for bringing this up. I wondered if anyone else made the connection. This is the reason I don’t have too many qualms about going NC. The Bible is clear about evil which I am convinced is what (malignant) narcissism is.

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  20. soulspeak2013

    So perfectly stated☺ In 2011, I answered my phone and it was my mother, immediately lying and I spoke my truth and calmly stated that I would no longer accept her lies and when she could respect this fact and be truthful we can talk..she hung up….I called back…she did not answer. I went to her house…she did not come to the door. I wrote her an email…it came back as an invalid address..I mailed a letter…and in that letter I stated clearly…I refuse to continue trying to love a narccistic mother. Of course I did not hear back from her. But it went deeper…my own grown adult daughter was spun into her web, and so..I lost both of them in one action…speaking my truth. I was abused and unwanted my whole childhood, a cronic runaway from all the abuse and the abuse from a stepfather, that my mother defended when I spoke up about the abuse. I always thought it was I who was to blame, and I carried the shame…but I was blessed the day she hung up…for I saw how she had drove a wedge between me and everyone I loved ..turning the pathetic story into her own advantage….this was the stepfather way to defend his abuse upon me…I was painted a lier..
    I have gone through much healing…and have not one family member for support..she took them all…but I am immensely grateful, for through it all…I learned how to love myself…and witnessed my worth. I miss my daughter, but realize…she is grown..43…and is still quite asleep.
    When people ask about my mom, I just say we are estranged…and I am given the usual response of grief or they think I am awful….it’s my journey..and I made it to the other side of good…and that is pricless. I will not attend any funerals for them….they wanted me not in life….
    There are too many sad and sordid stories of my journey and as I healed…I filled in the grave and walked away…it took my whole life to see…I loved them more than I loved myself…I was desperate for the unconditional love and acceptance that never was…for I was the only one having a relationship.
    I had tried to break the cycle of this dysfunctional energy, and it was great between my daughter and myself…until my daughter became a young adult…then…toxicity set in…..the ” poor grandparents syndrom”
    I have handed them their own baggage to carry, the stepfather passed away long before the break from my mother…but she blamed me for speaking the truth…I was 17 at the time…and i still tried to be a member of this toxic mess…that’s how the programming works….it never changes when it’s a narccistic situation….
    I am grateful to be in a healing space…and a space of truth and peace of heart…sincere blessings as you journey…and thank you again for sharing your story and your heart…Namaste’

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    1. lynettedavis

      “for I saw how she had drove a wedge between me and everyone I loved…” This seems to be a common motif with narcissistic mothers. I don’t know if they just want us to suffer, they can’t bear to see us happy, or if it’s jealousy.

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      1. soulspeak2013

        I believe it is jealousy..for I choose to break the dysfunctional threads of the genetic family and toxic actions when I gave birth to my own daughter. I just wanted her to feel all the love that I had to give and not fear one single thing. I can honestly say…I seen all the lies she told about me, to justify her anger and cutting me out of not only her life but my daughter and cousins as well. But it is with a peaceful heart that I know…real bonds and real love forgives and chooses healing and growth over narcissistic dysfunction. I truly just feel compassion when I imagine the huge burdens of baggage they carry…I did not loose a family…you cannot loose what never existed. BUT they did loose a person from their life…that loved them unconditionally…and I unconditionally accept my freedom to live…with no lies in my shadows….Namaste’ Lynett..and Blessings Abundant as you create a beautiful story in you adventure to peace💜

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        1. lynettedavis

          I totally get what you’re saying–you are free but they’re in bondage to themselves, even if they don’t realize it, which is why you feel such compassion for them. This makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the beautiful blessing and continued peace to you too.

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        1. lynettedavis

          Yes. I think triangulation is one of the most devastating parts of relationships with maternal narcissists because the wedges in family relationships are permanent because it occurs over such a long period of time.

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    2. Cat Post author

      Truth will always send a narcissist running for their life. It brings a whole new meaning to “the truth will set you free.” To have your own daughter move over to the narc camp must have been torture, but it is very common for a narcissistic mother to “triangulate,” which only alienates you from the fold. I understand about loving them more than ourselves and craving unconditional love and acceptance. Thank you so much for commenting, it means a great deal

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      1. soulspeak2013

        My very soul was broken. I love my daughter with all my immense heart….she has her own earthly lessons and journey. I respect that and unconditionally accept this…she must carry her own baggage…I am her mom…and we know and support our children finding their OWN path…I just pray with all my heart that she will do just that one day…..she then can discover her worth and what love really is…Thank you Cat for your space and support here. It is a sacred place for comfort and healing…Namaste’

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        1. Cat Post author

          Have you ever heard of the term ‘triangulation’? It is something narcissists do to win everyone over to their side and ostracise you (the scapegoat) even more. It’s well worth a read online if you don’t know already. I might write my next post on that very subject as it is something my own mother does with great skill

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          1. soulspeak2013

            Yes…I learned about this before the estrangement. My mother would always treat me different around different people. For if she acted like she loved me in front of some…she would be seen as a liar…but then with others she treated me like I was her much loved daughter…so she could reinforce the story later…the ” you see how ,uch I love her and she does not care ” story…again lies….enough to make your head spin like a top….

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            1. Cat Post author

              You’re spot on and it is quite amazing that each narcissist I have heard of are masters at this disguise. It’s manipulative and infuriating

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        2. Cat Post author

          I am in awe of your selfless love for your daughter, something we were not lucky to experience from our own selfish and greedy mothers. Thank you for your kind compliments about my blog, I try to have a sense of community because it helps each one of us to heal.

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          1. soulspeak2013

            I believe that once we awaken to the truth of our journey…we heal…and each day…we continue to heal…and we help others heal as we too continue to heal…I believe if we live openly on our journey and embrace healing ourselves…we discover paradise is truly real….. I am immensely grateful to have found your doors open at your sacred space for healing. Please know you are also welcome to visit At the Table, On my Plate…my little sacred space for all dear fellow travelers….I serve comfort food for the soul and we all share in conversation….SINCERE BLESSINGS 💖

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  21. soulspeak2013

    I wanted to thank you for allowing comments and also to share…I forgave them all…for I was finally able to forgive myself…and I hold no hatred or anger…for it is their own burdens they now carry…I handed that baggage over to the rightful owners…as I healed. I had so much grief and hurt from holding on too tightly to their expectations….I stood at the bedside of my dying stepfather and held his hand and forgave him….I chose to let it go…for my own well being…I do indeed understand that it is their own journey and their baggage is quite heavy..I should know….I carried it once upon a time…so long ago….blessings abundantly flow as we create our own amazing journey….

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    1. lynettedavis

      I can sense your peace just from reading your two comments. Thank you so much for sharing on Cat’s thread. We need to hear that there is complete forgiveness and peace in our futures, even as the people around us fall like dominoes until we are the last man standing. May God continue to bless you and keep you.

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    2. Cat Post author

      It sounds like you have gone through great healing and forgiving your father after what he did can only bring you peace. I hope one day to reach the stage that you’re at, thank you for sharing it with us 🙂

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      1. soulspeak2013

        Thank you Cat. I wear many scars upon my Soul, but they strengthen my acceptance and I wake up each morning, and take my coffee and immediately go to my back yard and go on a gratitude walk. Gratitude was and is my saving grace. I discovered gratitude at the beginning of my healing…..I have walked and cried a million miles in my backyard…and never have ran out of finding gratitude in my world…. to be liberated from the broken story that I was….no longer their scapegoat to feed. I take a deep breath in, blessing myself..and I breathe out…blessing my world….that’s a beautiful moment to be grateful for…Create an amazing adventure within your world…your way….Namaste’ …Blessings Abundantly flow…

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      2. soulspeak2013

        I refused to carry HIS shame the rest of my life. I handed him that baggage and grace stood there with me, as I prayed to be released from his story and set free…as his soul transitioned …he even spoke and as I held his hand he said I am ready…I said what are you ready for…and he said…to accept my fate….these were the last words he spoke on this Earth…he was on a morphine concoction that eases people in transition. My mother and all the family was in the room but my mom stood far back..,death scares her….you see, she could not have him die at home so she opted to put him to sleep…narccistic actions….even the evil man he was….once i forgave him that day…that very moment…compassion poured in. ..she stood by him in life…but only thought of herself in his death…I healed from all that sordid story…she still carries it….

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  22. myspokenheart

    Cat, I believe you have made the right choice. I know people will not, cannot and even refuse to understand. I heard “but she is your grandmother” and from family members I got told repeatedly “that’s just how granny is” like I was supposed to just accept it and let it slide. But the behaviour is toxic, the manipulation is gut wrenching and letting it slide causes so much stress and inner turmoil that you can barely live with yourself.
    I believe that through the distance you have provided for yourself you will be able to finally find forgiveness (do not read that as reconciliation, reconciliation and forgiveness are 2 entirely different and unrelated things).
    Warm hugs filled with understanding… Andrea

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Andrea… great to hear from you. The thing is, often these narcissists exert their toxicity and abuse in a very covert way and only we can see and feel the full effects. I was the scapegoat and maybe you were too. It’s okay for others to say, “It’s just granny,” or “she’s just mother, she loves you all the same” when it’s not so directed at them.
      My no contact is about freeing up space for healing. It’s selfish and self-nurturing, but necessary.
      Thank you so much for your support, Andrea

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  23. whitegirlhi

    Hi Cat,
    Thank you so much for this post! I just found your blog and I really appreciate what you write 🙂 I actually cut off my parents a few years ago and just recently made the discovery they are narcissists. I have so much trouble accepting that they will never change…I remain hopeful even though it tears me apart. I am terrified I didn’t give them enough chances, that I cut them off too soon and that they are capable of having a healthy relationship with me…even after years of abuse. Have you gotten past this?

    Laura

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    1. Cat Post author

      It is difficult to accept they will never change and natural to doubt our own actions, including whether we gave the enough chances. Narcissists don’t see our actions as “chances” they see us as ungrateful and wrong for being so horrible to them. No contact is the last resort for many of us and while it is difficult, maybe we should use it to our advantage and attempt to heal from their toxicity. We may well be in touch with them in the future, but at least we will be coming from a stronger place Thank you, Laura, for commenting

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  24. cardamone5

    I used to get those comments, from my in-laws of all people, about my dad. Now they know first hand how bad he is, and they were the first to tell me they were proud of me when I severed ties (if this is news, read my most recent pot, An Unexpected Goodbye.) People should not project their experiences and expectations onto you. If they had a supportive upbringing, that’s great, but you didn’t so your adult decisions regarding your parents are different from theirs. I agree about society. Everyone needs to remember that people are different. Hugs to you.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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  25. Lola

    Hi Cat,
    Just checking in – I re-read your post and all the comments. You are doing tremendous healing work here and I applaud you for every step you’ve taken and will be taking in the future! Two things from me: 1. With any decision you might be required to make (ex. family member’s death) it should first and foremost be based ONLY on whatever is the best option for YOUR well-being. 2. Have at least one strong support person with you as you go through the process. My best to you! Lola 🙂

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  26. betternotbroken

    So what indeed. You go spend time with mummy, is what I say except that I put in daddy. He’s your mother so endure her sick abuse? Is that what you are saying? I wish you continued strength with No Contact, those who judge you should walk in your shoes all while carrying the baggage a narcissistic parent burdens others with, if they are not listening to you, if they are not really and truly listening to you then by all means do NOT listen to them. Hugs to you Cat!

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    1. Cat Post author

      Trouble is, a considerable amount of their manipulative abuse is done covertly and it’s often difficult for other people to see, let alone understand. Fortunately, peer responses are not enough to sway me either way and there’s absolutely no way they will ever understand narcissism, only we know the truth.

      Thank you so much for such encouraging words, they really help me through the ‘journey’ 🙂

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      1. betternotbroken

        To be fair, many of us didn’t understand narcissism for decades of family interactions and then later in interpersonal relationships, only with work, healing and efforts to seek the truth do we see what it is for what it is even though even survivors may never understand the un-understandble pursuit of harming others. So I remind myself of that when these do-gooders but in, I ignore them and feel bad for their ignorance but happy they they may not have had the horrific experiences I have had so I see it as a blissful ignorance on their part. You are doing difficult thing, but it is often the only way one can survive when someone is a malignant narcissist so be kind to yourself. I re-blogged this by the way, it is a powerful help to others.

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        1. Cat Post author

          Thank you so much for the reblog. I know I said that already over on your blog, but it’s always so nice to know when other people relate. I don’t know where I would be in therapy if it wasn’t for the wisdom of other bloggers

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          1. betternotbroken

            You are welcome, feel free to mediate the comments there as well. There are several people who you helped and I do not deserve credit for the post. I hope you find continued strength and healing.

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  27. betternotbroken

    Reblogged this on betternotbroken and commented:
    Abuse and domestic violence is both a women’s and men’s issue, do you have a parent who relentlessly harms you no matter how much you comply, no matter how perfect you strive to be, you are not alone. Many of these abusers are women. As for those who preach negativity is part of life, you should not cut it out, you cannot cut it out and you should endure an abusive relative or spouse as your cross, perhaps there is a reason you say so, perhaps you want your abuse to be endured. Let us all do what we can to live positive lights, darkness never gives anyone light even though it is a part of the natural world.

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  28. kimberlyharding

    I am so glad you wrote this. I see the damage my husband’s ex-wife causes with her children. Twice, now, in the last month, my 11 year old stepson has shown up on our doorstep in tears because of how is mother treats him. One of his primary fears is that no one will believe how “bad” it is with her. I do. I believe all of it- because I witness the results and try to help him piece himself back together again.

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    1. Cat Post author

      It’s so important for your stepson to receive that validation from you, it will make all the difference to his own sense of what is the truth, which is an enormous issue for any child of a narcissist. No doubt in public, she will be as nice as pie to the little boy, which probably makes him feel even more that no one would ever believe that she is really a monster behind closed doors. Thank you for commenting, when someone relates, it makes it all the more worthwhile to write about.

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  29. sedge808

    I so hear you on this post.
    I cut myself off from my mother too,
    she is a narcissist and will not change.

    I’ve had people say: “but she gave birth to you” or “but she is your mother.

    LOL. NO ! that is not going to cut it.
    sedge808.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Sedge, yes, this seems very common for the children of narcissists to face when we go no-contact. They should be thankful that their mothering experience was entirely different. Thanks for commenting

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  30. liztinnea

    Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I relate. We have family who have hurt us time and time again. People are always quick to pressure you to forgive and forget, but when family continues to hurt you it wears on your soul and can keep you from being able to parent your own kids. We’ve tried to forgive and go on but they just keep doing the same stuff. It’s like walking in a minefield being in a relationship with them. It’s hard because you want to forgive, want not to let them hurt you, want to let things go, but you can’t. The only way is to stay away. I’m sorry you have this struggle, too. One of my family members is dying of cancer and I’m about to be placed in a position of dealing with hurtful people again because of this. I’m overwhelmed by it all. I’m praying this will all end quickly because I just don’t think I can bear anymore hurt. I am going to have to be strong and set boundaries. I resent that I’m having to deal with it again. Your blog helped me to know someone understands. Thanks again for Sharing your heart! Liz

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Liz & Hubby

      Often the narcissistic abuse and manipulation is done in a covert way. The narcissists are experts at portraying perfection and blamelessness and it makes it so much harder for everyone else to see the truth and appreciate how soul-destroying their influence actually is. The narcissists suck the goodness from our lives and their toxicity makes it harder for us to feel any positivity or happiness and it will most definitely impact on your own parenting.

      I dread the position you are about to face, as it only revisits the hurt, frustration, and anger. It forces us to deal with what we worked so hard to escape from.

      Boundaries are important for your own self-care, regardless of who understands or kicks off. Both you and hubby stick together and stay strong. Thank you very much for commenting

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      1. liztinnea

        Thanks so much for your encouragement! We greatly appreciate your support. We’ve been dealing with for 25 years together but we are both in counseling now so hopefully it’ll be easier to keep those boundaries!

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  31. mandy

    It’s hard to imagine child divorcing from mother. After all, they were part of one another for 9 months. But when a body has a diseased part, sometimes that part must be cut off in order to save a life; the toxins are too powerful and will take over and destroy the rest of the body. It seems to me you are in the process of saving your own life, Cat. Self-care is of utmost importance. It’s your life, and you only get ONE of those. If only we could know what we know now decades ago. Oh well, the future can still hold wonderful things if we take what we have learned and make the most of it. You’re doing it, Cat, and inspire me all the time!!

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    1. Cat Post author

      It actually feels just like saving my life and the relief is a great source of self-care and validation that it was the right way forward. If we knew all this decades ago, it would have saved us years of self-blame and guilt, but would we be the same people?

      I don’t feel an inspiration, but the people who comment have been my inspiration. Thank you, Mandy

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  32. Alice

    This line really spoke to me: “it’s difficult to appreciate the full flavour of a narcissist unless you’ve been there.” ohmygoddess YES.

    May you be well. Trust your instincts on this — it’s clear you’ve worked long and hard to reclaim and restore them, so that they can protect you in just such situations. You know better than anyone else what contact will (and will never!) mean for you.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Alice… they can be so charming and perfect in public, most people could never imagine their true colours behind closed doors. This is partly why the truth of any kind will send the narcissist running for the hills 🙂 Thank you for your words of support.

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  33. D.G.Kaye

    A powerful post here Cat. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about having to walk away, as I did with my mother. I can relate on so many levels because even though I walked, I carried that guilt I put on myself for the rest of her life, that I abandoned her, even after all the years I was neglected. I took flack from many as well, “You only have one mother,” “How could you abandon your mother.” Those were just some of the comments I got, making me feel as though I were doing such a terrible thing. Nobody walked in my shoes, they didn’t know what I lived through and carried from my mother my whole life. Who gives anyone the right to judge? I particularly liked what you said here, “Of course, there is still hurt and anger leftover from the abuse and dysfunction, but arriving at my decision has nothing to do with anger or an inability to forgive the narcissistic mother.” I have long since learned to forgive, but that didn’t earn her the right to come back into my life and keep dishing out more. She had to be stopped and banishing her from my life was the only way I could find peace and heal. Thank you. 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Debby… Our guilt for abandoning and the peer pressure are only a small hurdle to reach the ultimate peace of no contact. I find it rather bemusing that some people use the exact same statements halfway across the world such as, “You only have one mother.” Our automatic response is to feel frustration and anger because they have no clue what it’s like behind closed doors, but I guess we should feel pleased that their experience of mother was a lot different to ours. Only the child of a narcissistic parent can fully appreciate the full flavour of their toxicity and maybe peer criticism only reminds of our mother’s invalidation. Thank you, Debby

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Raphaela, saving our own sanity sounds about right. We faced those regrets years ago when they broke our heart repeatedly. I am pleased it has gone well for you. Thank you for commenting

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  34. Trinity

    For a while, I thought this was me writing this post. I understand everything you are going through because I am in the same situation. It took me many years living with her (23) to finally see the creature that calls me daughter.

    Most people will never understand that there are women who are unable to love their children because they too have suffered from abusive mothers and that does influence their future relationships. Over the years I had to mourn “the death” of my parents and my sister’s while they’re alive and see them as they really are, strangers. They are unable to love or to understand the meaning of “family ties”.

    Mother and daughter have a profile of psychopaths and yes, they all are narcissists. Father, well he is in other category… The good news about him is that he died years ago. All of them have a make believe image to be somewhat respected by society in general and they sure invest a lot in lies to themselves and to others to hide the truth and the abuses.

    No one will ever understand what is to have a dysfunctional “family” the same way we can’t compute in our mind what is to be loved and protected by our parents and siblings. Writing a letter is stupid; they are unable to feel empathy. I told them all I had to say, face to face and to tell you the truth; they don’t care because they died inside a long time ago. I don’t want a relationship with any of them because I don’t want to live around snakes and getting hurt everyday by their hate. The sad part is to know I am not the only one having to deal with this because it sucks big time.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Trinity, I’m so very sorry for the delay in replying, but your comment somehow didn’t show up on my notifications. I only just noticed as I was reading old comments for this post on narcissistic parents.

      Only another adultchild of a narcissist can truly appreciate what it’s like behind closed doors… bad enough to drive us to go no contact. When people hear this, they don’t seem to realise just how difficult it is for us to take this decision. Who would not prefer happy loving families? But, this was not on the menu for us and it’s such an important part of our healing to be able to accept and mourn for what we never had.

      Narcissists are often upstanding members of the community. It’s part of their need to be seen as wonderful by peers. I used to watch my parents interact with people on the outside and it would feel as though I was observing complete strangers. If they made half the effort with their nearest and dearest, we would not be in this position in the first place.

      Thank you so much for your thought provoking comment, Trinity

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      1. Trinity

        Hi cat. No worries about your late respond. I too suspect that wordpress is having trouble with the comment alert. As for our “luck” with our families I can tell you that it’s the worst thing that could happened to someone. Without this important bond we have nothing to belong to. I never got married because of my parents’ divorce that did so much damage in my life I couldn’t go through that again by choice. I never had the chance to be a mother because I was terrified that the story could repeat itself and I couldn’t bear the thought of my children feeling for me what I feel for my mother.

        I lost so much in all in this tragedy event called “dysfunctional family” that I could never see my future or create one because I am too broken to believe in happy families and good parenting or even that brothers/sisters can love each other. I was born in a family of vipers and till this day I am stuck and still having to live with the creature that gave birth to me. The only feeling I have left is a deep sadness that I’m unable to be independent alone and forget them as long as I live. She told me, screaming, 2 years ago that I can only leave this house after she’s dead! Well, the only thing I can say is; she sure is taking her time to die…

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