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My Mother The Narcissist

I used to never think of my mother as having an actual mental condition. I would always just refer to her and her behavior towards me and everyone else in her life as crazy,

47 thoughts on “My Mother The Narcissist

  • May 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve worked with a few narcissists in leadership roles (they always get there) and that almost killed me. I can’t even imagine having to grow up with one as my mom. It sounds like you are a smart survivor and truly awareness of these types of covert individuals is the key. Congratulations on surviving and thriving and wising removing her from your life!

    • May 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I do wish I could have had the knowledge I do now during my childhood; but hopefully me and others like me can help those struggling now.

  • May 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I grew up with a narcissist mother. It was only recently, by accident, that I figured it out (I’m 28). She has always manipulated me, and people around me, to think that it’s my fault and that I am the problem, not her. Finding out about narcissism and talking to other in the same situation has been such a revelation. I really wish I had known sooner. I wouldn’t wish this kind of thing on anyone.

    • May 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you for your comment! It’s odd how all of us find out too late..after so much damage has been done..that our parent was/is a narcissist. It’s an unbearable way to grow up. Thank you for sharing.

  • May 24, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Thank you for sharing your very personal and difficult experiences living with a narcissist. If your stepdad had pushed back, or the marriage had ended in divorce due to the affairs, your mother likely would have committed parental alienation and blamed your stepdad. You would have been forced to hate him to show that you “loved” your mom. Parental alienation in divorce is child abuse and is rampant as people (men or women) who have narcissistic personalities instinctively eat souls for lunch. Confronting a narcissist is punished severely and painfully. One learns to live in fear. If you marry one or are raised by one.

    Dr. Craig Childress has done the best job explaining the phenomena and narcissism in divorce.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences with narcissistic personality disorder. I wish you the best in healing and peace as you break this chain, and I appreciate your contributions to this important issue.

    • May 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you for the comment! “eat souls for lunch”; that is a very accurate description of what living with a narcissist is like. I wonder sometimes if it’s a cycle..maybe her mother was like that. We can break the cycle though..thank you again!

  • May 24, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It all sounD’s so familiar to my childhood. I figured (through therapy) my moms situation just a few years ago and I am 47 yo. I am in a horrible situation now as I am the trustee who manages a trust that cares for my mom (she is 69). We moved her into a Senior Living environment this last year. She feels that she is entitled to all of my time and resources. I am in a no win situation because her spending etc will most likely not outlast her life. Guess who’s fault that will be? Now to clean out her house and get rid of all her “treasures” and sell her house that she insists sdhe is moving back into this summer. Argh!!! I have two siblings who could be helpful but they’ve never gone to therapy and don’t know boundaries so all they ever want to do is please mom. I wish I could just walk away from it all.
    Thank you for listening. Have you had any contact with your since you left? You are my hero!!

    • May 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you for your comment! Its amazing to me how we all never really get a grasp on what was wrong with our parents until so much later in life. Maybe it’s just wisdom and understanding…?
      I hope you keep those boundaries and realize you are in charge of your own life. Best of luck to you and thank you!

  • May 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    My prayers have been answered! I thought I was the only child with a mother like that.. I can’t believe how accurate this is. I’m only 19 but I’ve got my mother figured out after years of misery and abuse. Thank you so much for sharing your story Sarah, this is the first time I’ve realized that I’m alone. You’re such an inspiration!

    • May 24, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Bless your heart. Thank you and trust me – you definitely are not alone and we are all here to help.

    • May 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      My mom is very wealthy but she refused to “waste” her money on a warm coat or shoes for me. She had my teeth pulled out for punishment. What is there to fear in life now? The road by our house was an open highway and I set myself free. I left home and went into the merchant marine when I was eighteen, went to sea for thirteen years, and never went back.

      • May 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        You survived…wear that proudly..:)

  • May 25, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Quote from Colorado Father:

    “If your stepdad had pushed back, or the marriage had ended in divorce due to the affairs, your mother likely would have committed parental alienation and blamed your stepdad. You would have been forced to hate him to show that you “loved” your mom. Parental alienation in divorce is child abuse and is rampant as people (men or women) who have narcissistic personalities instinctively eat souls for lunch. Confronting a narcissist is punished severely and painfully. One learns to live in fear.”

    It has only recently been pointed out to me by someone I’m close to that my mum has narcissistic qualities. It truly amazes me how much this all makes sense, and how accurate this is. I always just assumed that I was doing something wrong, that I wasn’t good enough.

    But linking back to what Colorado Father said:
    My dad did fight back, and their marriage did end in divorce when I was 4/5 years old. She absolutely did blame my dad for everything that had happened, alongside blaming me. I have always missed my dad over the years, and I fought back against her cruel accusations of my dad, and ignored them. And I am so glad that I did, because I am now 18 years old, and am in contact with him again. Mum doesn’t like it, and tries to convince me not to go, and keeps blaming him for my ‘awful attitude and rudeness’ when I come home, but I know better now than to listen to her. Unfortunately, she’s been more successful with my sister, and has succeeded in forcing her to hate him. This makes me sad, because all children should have a relationship with their father, and it upsets me because my dad really wants to see her and build a relationship with her, but she refuses.

    The punishment and fear I’ve lived with in my childhood has been agonisingly painful, and I am currently working on trying to distance myself and eventually leave mine and my mum’s relationship in the sand. It is difficult, as I have and always will crave love and care and attention from her, and will always want to please her, but I will keep trying to get away from this detrimental relationship, and towards a better one with my dad.

    I hope this, in some way, can help others who are in the same situation to realise what is really going on.

    Thank you Sarah, for your inspiring and insightful words – I know I am not alone in this.

    • May 25, 2015 at 7:33 am

      I am so proud of you for recognizing that distance is best. Find out who you are and love yourself. Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing something so personal.

  • May 25, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Alas, the fact that you put NYTimes Bestselling Author after every single reply :p shows you too have received the family’s narcissist curse.
    Is it learned or genetic? Likely both… but seems very difficult to remove…

    I know this all too well having had the exact same kind of mother.

    Seems these are like programs and humans just an amalgamation of these programs… free will just an illusion. But at least self knowledge makes it all less puzzling.

    • May 25, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Thank you for your comment! Maybe you are right…or that’s just my user ID that pops up every time I respond? Great food for thought..thank you!

  • May 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks so much for this article! Not for me, but a friend that we have watched go through this whole thing and only just now, is at that final step of realising the true situation ~ its been painful watching her and her ‘relationship’ with her mum, how her life has been turned upside down by it all ~ and she is the older adult with beautiful daughters, whom she is also now trying to shelter from all this and not wanting to continue her mothers cycle of abuse.

    Hopefully this article will be her true turning point (yes she shared it with us in a private group) ~ hopefully she realises that its not her, that she is gorgeous, that she happens to have been one of the many that has been bought up in lies, deceit, betrayal and abuse.

    So thank you again for this, and could you recommend your name of your book that relates to this article? 🙂

    • May 25, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you so much! It sounds like you truly care about your friend and she is blessed to have someone like you in her life. And the name of one of my books is Why Me. Thank you again!

  • May 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I discovered my mother is a narcissist when i was 28. I am 33 now, and after 4 years of therapy i have finally managed to heal the wounds and emotional scars that her hatred and abuse left in me. For the first time in my life i feel
    like i have rights, like I am lovable and like i deserve happiness and good things in life.

    Growing up with a narcissist is like growing up in a warzone, you dont know when the next attack is going to be, you grow up in fear, fear of speaking, fear of laughing ( she might get upset that you are happy when she is not and she will punish you for that) fear of simply being yourself.
    But healing is possible…

    Thanks for your article! My dream is also to be a writer. All the best! X

    • May 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      War zone is a great way to describe what it is like..but we survived the war; remember that. Thank you so much for your comment!

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Sarah, I thought I was reading about my own mother in this article. I am so sorry that you had to live through the same hell I did. No one should have to live like that. I have not yet been able to erase all or part of my past from my mind. I know that our mothers were cut from the same cloth. This article helped me realize there are many others who lived the horrible life I did. I wish none of us had to live that way. The only thing positive that came from my horrible childhood is that I decided I would NEVER be like my mother. My children knew every minute of every day how much I loved them, cherished them, respected them as human beings, believed in them, and lived them unconditionally.

    • May 26, 2015 at 2:49 am

      And you stopped the cycle…:D
      Thank you so much!

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I recently discovered my mother is a narcissist about 2 years ago. I am an only child and I have watched her date countless men, go through 2 divorces and basically use me as a shoulder to cry on. I had to become the person she wanted me to be time and time again. often times, during a conversation, she would contradict herself multiple times. I am now approaching the age of 40, and she has moved out of state. of course, she left like a whirlwind. I could see her pupils glow red as I could see the devil in her. Her actions truly have hurt my soul and her multiple lies and manipulations have made me question every thing she says now. I do not want children as I feel as though I have been a mother to one for my entire life and now I want to be free.

    • May 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      So many of us figure it out so late in life. I’m so sorry you are still dealing with the turmoil. Maybe the distance will make things a bit easier? Thank you for your comment!

  • May 26, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I didn’t have a parent who was a narcissist, but I can relate as I dated a girl who was one. It was nearly impossible to escape. You start to learn helplessness and just hope for the best, but realistically expect that today will be another roller coaster that you didn’t sign up for.

    Oh, by the way, Sarah. You’re totally hot.

    • May 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      I can’t imagine dating one..hopefully she is getting the help she needs. Thank you for your comment!

  • May 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Wow, I feel a bit of relief just knowing that other’s having experenced the childhood I have with a narcistic mother. I’m 58 and honestly it’s affected my entire life. I’m a very sensitive caring person therefore I tried to be close to my mom. It’s simply not possibly and after many, many years I’ve learned this all too well. Thank you so much for making my day a bit brighter. God has helped me so much and I’m so thankful!!!

    • May 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      You are definitely not alone…remember that..:D Thank you so much for your comment!!

  • May 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Sarah, Your description rings true for me because I am in a relationship with a 58 year-old narcissistic woman, and it has gone from heaven to hell. She has a 36 year-old son who still comes running to mommy whenever any of his relationships go bad because he knows that she will be on his side no matter how bad his behavior has been. He has multiple children by different women and he still expects his mother to subsidize his finances. She, of course, encourages any dependency that allows her to control his life. I compare him to Norman Bates, but I would never dare to actually say it out loud. I was not really surprised when she told me that he and she would go out bar-hopping and she would pose as his cousin so he wouldn’t be embarrassed by dating his Mom! Needless to say, after she and I got together, the first year was great, then things changed. I noticed that she never had anything positive to say about anything; that she would complain for weeks about her obligations, but never actually took care of them; nothing I did for her was ever good enough; that sex became a reward for doing things for her, and was withheld when I displeased her; our finances are not mingled, but any time I buy a small item or tool, I have to tell her exactly how much I spent and then endure the eye rolling; And so it goes. If you look at the symptoms of NPD in women, she hits eight out of ten. This is so depressing, because I feel I am becoming an enabler, but since she NEVER admits to anything being her fault, and all bad decisions on her part are because of someone else’s influence, I don’t expect a dialog to miraculously open up. Gas lighting is a way of coping for her, and even some of our mutual friends have noticed that her memory of things differs greatly from theirs. I don’t see any hope for this relationship, but….. I’m still here. Hoping. And knowing that hoping never changed anything.

    • May 27, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      You sound just like my stepdad…and he finally got away; married his high school sweetheart. But his life was a mirror image of yours until then..thank you for your comment!!

    • May 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Derry, it won’t get any better. You know right now what you have. Find a real lady who makes you proud and makes your life better!

  • May 27, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    For Christmas my mom gave me a box of macaroni and cheese and a small bag of sample coffee both of which were filled with dead insects.
    When I told her I was struggling to find somewhere affordable to rent, she bragged that she rented her second home to a young man she befriended.
    She gave my brother and later my husband full plates at dinner and only a tiny amount of food to me.
    She threw big flashy parties for her birthday and used me to wait on all the guests.
    She made a voodoo doll of a man that broke up with her and stuck it full of pins, then invited him over to visit where he would see it.
    She refused to let me have eyeglasses or shoes or underwear, but bought a carload of alcohol every month at the liquor store.
    She traveled halfway across the country to where I lived to try to get my boyfriend for herself, as she put it.
    I hate her

    • May 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Oh…I understand how you feel..I understand the hate. But try to let the hate go; leave the past in the past where it belongs and focus on you and your future. The hate…it slowly eats us alive. It’s not worth it. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  • May 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I shuddered as I read that – one of my daughters has NPD (though nobody would dare mention it). I’ve often thought that it would be best if she never has children. She changes jobs and relationships very frequently. She manages to go from one very good paying job to another. I feel sorry when I meet the latest interest in her life – knowing that he probably won’t be around for too long. None of her sisters are like her. Thank-you for sharing that article – you’re a very brave lady opening up like that.

    • May 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing that. I hope the best for your family.

  • May 28, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    the author talks about how she came “into her own self” when her mother was gone. My mother is not gone yet and is probably getting the meantime, she’s more and more difficult, selfish, shows favoritism, and generally is a totally unpleasant, controlling…well, a narcissist. She’s done many hurtful things throughout my childhood and more recently, a lot more hurtful things as I am now an adult. How do I resolve my feelings about her? How do I handle her? Do I have to “handle” her? Or can I just have nothing to do with her? My life is very pleasant without her in it, but every time she comes to visit our family in New England (she’s lived in Florida over 30 years), she wants everything her way. She knew I was upset and I told her I wanted to talk…so she emailed me that I should email HER, when I was alone (in other words, when my husband wasn’t there – of course, she doesn’t like him because he won’t be controlled. She’s upset so many people in my family, most especially me – how long do I have to put up with her??? I’m pretty much at the end of my rope with her now. I’m 54 years old!

    • May 29, 2015 at 1:08 am

      You don’t HAVE to do anything but focus on yourself and your happiness. Distance does work wonders..:). Thank you for sharing something so personal.

      • June 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

        Sarah – so now that I’ve learned (finally!) how much of a narcissist my mother is, I’m pretty sure she’s starting to develop dementia. Does this mean she gets a “free pass” and I have to take care of her with my sisters, or am I justified in keeping a distance from her? I had talked with her about whether or not she she had long-term care awhile ago (she doesn’t) and she’s in Florida, along with one sister, while the rest of us are in New England. She made an agreement with my sister in Florida that if she got bad, my sister would come to live with her and take care of her, but I’m not sure that’s entirely fair, even though my sister will do anything not to have to pay for herself and her own place, so she has her own reasons to do so. Is it “okay” to step back and let her do as they agreed? Or should we bring her back to New England when she gets really bad so we can share the load? I literally cannot stand even talking to my mother anymore. Everything she does is somehow attempting to control things and have them done the way she wants them. I’m just not sure if I can totally step back and let that sister do it. I know she’ll end up coming to me about how to handle things when our mother gets bad and I don’t know if I can handle it. I’ve wrestled with this for years now.

      • June 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story. I’m a big believer in No Contact, but maybe on your case that won’t work. What you do have is a new knowledge of what your mother’s problem is and now that you know that, you may be able to find healthy ways to deal with her and your situation.

  • June 4, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Where’s the compassion? All I’m hearing here is blame and how the best way to deal with a narcissist is no contact. It’s a major thing for anyone to cut their mum out of their life and a decision not to be taken lightly.
    I would prefer to read an article that shows some compassion towards this condition. Narcissists must have a heart. They surely have feelings too. Adult children of narcissists need to learn to stand up to them, deal with them, understand why they are who they are, instead of cutting them out of their lives. Unless of course the person threatens you with violence.
    My mother has schizoaffective disorder and her mother was an alcoholic. I understand how they became who they became and it has helped me understand them and cope with them better.
    I have an aunt who is a narcissist. She has done extremely well in life, highly educated, good job, etc, and if anyone challenges her in anyway whatsoever, then in her opinion they are just jealous. The way she is clearly stems from her childhood when she had nothing and came from a family that was nothing in the eyes of the rest of the family. She doesn’t affect me because I believe in myself and I understand where her behaviour comes from.
    Have some compassion for people who clearly have problems. That’s the way forward. Have less to do with them if you can’t cope with them, but cutting them out of your life is really quite a drastic step to take. Life is short.

    • June 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you for your comment! And you are right…but unfortunately my narcisstic parent was violent with me my entire’s easier for me to have no contact. Every situation is different and there is not a one size fits all solution. Thank you again!

    • June 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Anne – all situations are different, and I feel that this article addresses something SO MANY are unaware of BECAUSE they are wrapped up in the world of the Narcissist! I originally came here because I saw a friend going through so much trauma from her N/Mother ~ and then I got to sit back and look at my mother as well ~ whom I had to cut off (my sister and brother didn’t and are now having to cope with that drama, causing lots of stress) IF I had not cut myself and my family off from her, we would not be strong and now back having a relationship with her trying to help her – on the other hand, my sister is making her life as an older person, a nightmare.
      As for my friend, she is coping WAY WAY better after reading this article, acknowledging there are other like it as well, and is MUCH BETTER with the coping after making the decision to cut her off (and all her B*sh*t and power/controlling, manipulation.
      But let people express themselves with others whom KNOW what its all like – let them heal then start to see other options, rather than them being just the victim.
      SO yes I was strong enough to do – MANY ARENT – and many are in (as stated above) violent situations that they don’t want other generations involved in.

  • August 13, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Thank you for sharing your story, I am a 30 year old woman now and never in my life had I told my story to anyone and I have been trying to figure out why my mother is very jealous and abusive towards me and she can’t even pretend for a minute, while growing up I thought she was not my mother and when I raised my suspicions she threw my clothes outside and told me to go and look for a better since I think she is not a better mother for me, I was 11 years then, even at this tender age she would accuse me of sleeping with her husband, she stopped socialising so that she could keep an eye on me.

    List of the things she did to me:

    Age 10, she will have me to do the house work, cook for her kids and clean after them even prepare supper, when her husband came back from work I would have to make him tea, if I missed any of this I would be beaten to death.

    Age 11, she woke me up whilst beating me in the middle of the night, took me outside, she went back into the house & locked me outside and switched off the lights on me just because I forgot to do the dishes.

    Age 12, she would have me bunk school on exam days to take care of my little brother and when the results came saying I failed she will beat the lights out of me.

    Age 13, I was supposed to go to junior high she didn’t even bother herself to look for a new school, I looked for the school, registered myself even sourced money to pay for my registration fees.

    Age 14, whenever she left the house and left us with our father (he is my step father who loved me so much, thank God for this man, he cherished and wiped my tears and sometimes protected me from the beating) when she came back she would drag me to my room, undress me and make me open my legs so she can check if I didn’t sleep with her husband.

    From the age of 14 -17 the undressing, name calling (my mom never forgot how black, thin & ugly I was), the beating, house chores, taking care of the children was my daily bread every after school, I even passed my matric by grace.

    Age 18, after matric even though my father was fired and given some money she didn’t even bother herself to take me to further my studies, all she could say to me when I was crying for a chance to atleast go to college was this” my work with you is done, go and look for your dead beat father and tell him you want money to go to school cause all the money we have is for me and my kids” and this was how I found out that the man who raised was not my father.

    Age 19, my siblings became my sole responsibility whilst my mom and her husband were going up and down enjoying their money, buying new clothes for their kids day in and day out, whilst I depended on people’s mercy to have clothes on my back and if I was given something new and it was nice she would take it , unfortunately the very same year their money ran out and my step father left her with nothing not even a cent.

    In my entire life I will never forget the year 2005 when my step father left , my mother’s rage towards me became extreme, she hated me with passion, I think according to her I was the reason her husband left her, she would intentionally starve me , hide the house hold cosmetics even the bathing soap as well as the washing powder and tell me that women fend themselves, this is how I was introduced to dating and when I found myself a man who did everything for me he tell me to dump the guy since she doesn’t want me to get pregnant,

    Late the very same year I met a local guy who was dumped by his girlfriend and we started going out,but my mother interfered, when this guy came to see me she would call my ex boyfriend to come over our house and this would create some awkwardness but luckily for me I had told my current boyfriend about my mom and my ex boyfriend and he wouldn’t mind the tension.

    Seeing my living conditions my boyfriend suggested we move in together, I am telling you that my mother made all the means that- that doesn’t happen, she took my boyfriend to a traditional healer so that my boyfriend could cast a spell on his ex girl friend to return and love him back, (my boyfriend’s friend told me this since he was also there) and my boyfriend disappeared, he never called me nor came to see and my mother was having herself a jol, she would laugh in the middle of the and shout out loud saying” you are too ugly no one will marry you, you are bound to be my servant!”

    2006 around march my boyfriend called me insisting we meet somewhere and we did and he told that my mom took him to a traditional healer to cast a spell on his ex girl friend so she could return and love him back and I told him I already knew that and we decided to get back together since the spell casting thing didn’t work, we move in together but again my mother interfered, she told my boyfriend I was stubborn I need a beating to be straightened out and I am telling you that everyday we had an argument with my boyfriend he would hit me and say your mom said your deserve to be beaten!

    For 3 years I kept distance from my mother and secretly endured abuse from my boyfriend,he would beat me for his infidelity and lies and I would keep quite because I thought I was better off with him than with my mom cause with him the beating was not an everyday thing, he never called me names.

    In 2009 we got married but unfortunately God never blessed us with kids and somehow for the sake of my siblings I managed to mend things with my mom but I am telling you that I regret that day till date, my mom will come to my place borrow money and not return it, steal my things, to put ice on the cake when she comes to my place she wears clothes that reveals her cleavage whilst knowing exactly that my husband is around and currently she is encouraging me to cheat on my husband because she claims that she wants grand children and I reminded her that my childless relationship with my husband is fine the way it is because we are happy and we love each other and I believe he has accepted me the way I am, she was disappointed to hear that and she upped and left and the following day she called me and said she told my baby brother who is now 23 that he should make a baby because she is not like my mother in law to accept a barren woman as a daughter in law in her family.

    She was telling me to cheat on my husband on sunday (09/08/2015) and I know for sure that all that she wants is for my husband to dump me, she can’t stand seeing me happy, my husband has changed and he is so loving and affectionate towards me, irrespective that I can’t give him kids, and this drives her craze!

    • August 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing such a personal story for so many others to see. I truly hope that you learn to love yourself and realize what a special person you are. Your story is heartbreaking, and I hope you find the strength to move past all of the toxic people on your life. Stay strong…..❤️❤️

  • March 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I grew up thinking I was an obedient and good daughter to my parents. I listened to them, I did what my mother asked me and told me to do. We were religious and I was always the girl who did things right, listened to leaders, etc. I was a rule follower and obedient. I was the oldest child of 5 kids and I was what I thought a good role model for my little siblings.

    Despite trying my hardest to be the best, I was never good enough for my mother. She always compared me to other girls at church (even though they were “hypocrites” and I was the obedient meek one) and she would always say how much better they were than me. At school, religiously, grades, boys, etc…. I would put something on and she would tell me that things were too tight on me, when they really weren’t. I ended up wearing boy clothes and long shorts because I felt more secure in wearing these things because she wouldnt tell me that I look slutty or attention grabbing. One day when I was 14, an older man at church approached me, he was around 23 and when my mother found out we were socializing at church, she told me I was a slut and took my cell phone away for 2 years. She always always told me, every chance she got, that I “had problems” and that i should talk to a psychologist (of her choice). She always said I had problems, over and over again. So much that I fear asking for mental health help because she made it so clear it was a horrible thing to do (see a mental health doctor)_. I was almost like she said that to put fear in me and use this tactic to punish me if I didnt do what she wanted.

    My mother had very few friends but somehow on facebook she had hundreds and posted about her life and bragged how perfect it was. Always saying how wonderful her life is and how wonderful and great her children are and how she is so “blesses”, yet she would always assume how we acted behind her back and she would punish us or ground us for things we never did!! That was the hardest part about growing up. She always assumed we were doing things behind her back, taking drugs, sneaking out at night, or having sex with someone, she just automatically assumed we were the devil children.

    I learned to never ask for things. She guilt tripped me many times saying how she sacrificed so much to raise us, (she really wasnt there. most of her time was skyping to other men from other countries behind my fathers back, or she was dieting because she was too fat, or she was getting cosmetic surgery or taking selfies of herself — thousands of selfie pictures…)

    I never asked her to go out with friends from school because according to her, friends from school were not religious and were automatically “bad people”. I never asked to do anything my entire life under her roof. Not one thing.

    When i began dating, she wanted these boys over our house. She would talk to them and look pretty for them. She would give “advice” when it was never asked. Conversations were always about her, so you could forget talking about your good news….

    She imposed religion on these guys too and demanded that they think the same way she does or they wouldnt be a good fit for me, her daughter. I was never allowed to go over to my boyfriends house. If we went to the mall, 2 of my siblings had to come with us and watch us. If she didnt like the guy I was dating she would instill fear in me and tell me how I will regret it, how he will cause family problems, how mucky of a father he could be, she would just throw anything and everything at me. I couldnt even change my relationship status on facebook because she didnt want other people to know I was dating someone she didnt like. I was 18 at that time.

    Well, I grew up believing I was never good enough. I never knew who I was because I had to please my mother my entire 18 years of existing. I had no personality, I had irrational fears of what people might think of me and developed anxiety… I was scared to go our in public because I grew very self conscious of what I looked like and I developed low self esteem for many years. She made me believe I had to be very traditional in family roles- which is fine, but I could not be better than her.

    She recently is graduating college in Aprli and she brags about it and feeds off of praise that people give her. If I never was happy for her or praised her, or listened to her “advice”, then it was a total warzone. She might as well have written me off. I learned that if I wanted to survive in her household I would have to be on the same page as her with every topic. I had to agree with her with everthing or I would be told I was the devil, or I dont deserve to have such a good mother like her, or she would compare me, or she would get upset or not talk to me, or not let me even go play outside. I learned that I had to get along with her or else.

    My poor father. He was the silent one in this relationship all their lives. All this was happening and he was at work working or was outside in the yard, or running errands, and he is probably use to how she acts. She is very irrational and competitive and I just dont understand why. You could never have a conversation with her because it was always about her.

    Her opinion was the best, and her opinion was fact and that fact is how you should be living. Good news was never good enough. Anything good her children did, she bragged how it was how she was behind it all and wants to take all the credit for the achievement. Over and over again its really tiresome. You begin to think that you are nothing without her, when really, you are born with something special inside and with other combos as well.

    My straight A’s, according to her, wouldnt get me to any nice school. and if i were to go to college, she was going to pick out the school. So to get out of the house, I agreed to that. She picked out a very religious school. Of course she did. So i submitted to attending but could not stand going.

    I found the love of my life who grew up in a very healthy loving and respectful environment, and when she found out we were dating (I was visiting her on a break) without her permission she freaked out and took my phone away, I was 19 at the time. Told me I was never going to talk to him again or see him again. She told me she was going to put me thru psychological counseling (her choice) and go to a community college of her choice so I would not be tempted to “bad behaviors or bad people”. She used my siblings as collateral if I dated to leave or speak to my boyfriend again, and said I would never see them again or talk to them again…

    Well, I called my boyfriend from the home phone, and that night in the middle of the night he picked me up and we moved in with his parents until we got on our feet. Of course, through emails she has to ask when we will stop being a nuisance to his parents and live on our own…

    I have given her chance after chance to be civil with me and she just doesnt know how. She always reverts to being selfish, so having conversations is impossible yet again. My inlaws helped us buy and renovate a condo and when she found out she sent a gift card to home depot, but I never took it. Her gifts come with strings attached to it. I have learned that 18 years living with her. She always has to be better than what people are doing. Even now that I am engaged she still talks to me about men she has met that see my pictures in her home and ask about me, or she tells me how the men at church would love to talk to me and date me…. She even brings up my ex’s and how much she wants them to suffer (who knows why, I dont even care) and she acts very irrational. She defames me and uses me as a bad example to my siblings and she makes them turn against me. She tells them how I did things wrong in my life and how much I suffer and deserve to suffer and that I will end up in hell and very unhappy in life. I hate that part. The distance between my siblings is very very big. I am 23, then 17, 11, 10, and 9 years old. I practically raised these kids as my own and read them stories at night, tucked them into bed, said prayers together, took them to school in the mornings, made their lunches, waited for them at the bus stop after school, helped with homework. I did everything for them. I bottle fed the last 2 babies because the middle child was very attached to my mother and didnt understand having 2 more younger siblings at age 3. These kids are my own. I love them like they are my own kids and sometimes wonder what kind of love I will have for my own kids, if this love I have for my siblings is unbreakable.

    But it wasn’t until I was out of the house that I realized how toxic and controlling she has been my entire life. I feel terrible for my siblings, since they are growing up and under neath her communism. my 17 yr old sister is smart enough to see (because she has friends unlike me at the time), that our mothers reactions and actions are not normal and healthy. She cant wait to be 18 and leave the house. My other siblings are very close to my mom as they get older because I am not there and still seek that emotional attachment, and will end up automatically pleasing her as I did.

    But at least I left the house and was able to understand that what I grew up in was not love and respect. Yes, we had happy times together, like going to disney world as a family, but in between those moments of the camera, she was whispering in my ear how much of a slut I was, what I looked like in my clothes or I how wasnt good enough, or something ridiculous like that. Luckily we live hundreds of miles apart and am now engaged, this will again bring more problems into my life as long as i keep my mother in it… But I rely on the distance and school and work to keep me busy and from feeling obligated to reply to her…

    My father keeps things civil with me and I am thankful for that but he is also under my mothers rule so he feels obligated to get me to talk to her too…

    My struggle is how she contacts me over and over again demanding another chance. But after trying her strategy out a couple times, I know better now. I know she will revert to her ways and somehow in one way or another control my life or disrespect me and my choices.

    I am so lucky I found someone who loves me for how imperfect I am and someone I can laugh with. He has helped me survive and feel that there is hope in healing and that seeing a therapist is not a punishment. 🙂 Its hard to think I cannot have a relationship with my siblings until they are 18- if I am lucky… Sometimes I dont know what to do or who to confide in on a mother to daughter relationship but I stay strong and enjoy life as I slowly find out more and more of who I am and becoming.

    Any advice and support will help me and I thank you in advance. xoxo

  • February 3, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    I read Why Me? and Why Her? and I cried through both books. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a loving home..which I know is basically the luck of the draw…but it’s unfathomable to me how anyone could treat a child this way. You are a beautiful soul Sarah and I’m forever touched by your story…I’m happy you found your way out and went on to live a happy, successful life!

  • April 7, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    It’s so sad how you had to face that as a hold but I’m so glad to hear you’re a survivor! God has a purpose for life and has gave you such a wonderful platform to help so many people in abusive situations because of your experience. It’s not an easy road but always trust in him for he is our only hope! God bless you


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