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Covert narcissistic mother help

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by DirectionNorth, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. DirectionNorth

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    Does anyone have advice on how to deal with a parent/mother who has zero capacity for understanding anyone else's emotions or traumas? I'm struggling so much, and it's taken so long to even acknowledge the dynamic is so bad and unhealthy. It took forever to find something that could describe what was going on and, the closest i've found so far is covert narcissist which covers what's going on to a T. In my late twenties, i can safely say she has zero ability to understand any emotions besides her own- i've been through multiple sexual traumas and have been diagnosed with PTSD and depression and anxiety. A few therapists have called her many times to explain ptsd to her because she blames me for the symptoms of ptsd. She calls me having flashbacks just sitting around doing nothing and choosing to think about the past, she's said she doesn't believe i have ptsd because some traumas happened when i was underage and i'm an adult now and it doesn' make sense to her that it'd be bothering me anymore. Earlier today, i was triggered and wanted emotional support and care and understanding from her for ONCE, and she sighs and says in a stern tone she's sick of me doing this and i have to stop this anxious crap. I'm in tears because i had flashbacks a good portion of the day and was triggered and she's annoyed with me that i'm still playing this trauma game, she's acting like i'm still playing imaginary friends way past the age that's acceptable for a kid to keep it up and she's annoyed. Every street harassment and trauma incident i told her about, it is always met with "he just followed you? At least he didn't touch you, he just touched you, at least he didn't rape you, he raped you, at least he didn't murder you, people have been through worse", so easily and matter-of-fact, absolutely zero empathy. At a hospital once, this guy wouldn't leave me alone and started masturbating to me and moving to seats closer to me even though i moved twice, and she says matter of factly "at least he didn't touch you, what are you so upset about?" When i got home, i called RAINN and cried for 5 minutes(i never cry to anyone), it clearly upset me deeply. She gets annoyed that i have emotions from things that don't physically affect her and actually blames me for things i can't control like flashbacks and triggers. Because one sexual trauma was by a male medical professional, therapists told me to be proactive and strongly request a female doctor or a female present- my mom found a doctor for me and when i asked her if it was a female doctor, my mom says in a little kid's mocking, sing-songy voice "oh, because every man on the planet is going to raaaape you." I mean it with no hyperbole when i say she has a complete lack of empathy or emotional understanding or capacity. Who says that to anyone, let alone your damn kid?? I can't understand her mentality at all, and it hurts so much. I can't break this co-dependency i have on her and this hope that she'll change, even though it's clear at this point it won't, i can't let go of this "i want a mom, i want a mom who actually cares and doesn't blame me for emotions and trauma and gives a cold, detached, matter-of-fact response and tone and mentality when i say someone really hurt me."

    I don't know how to deal with this, i've tried setting up boundaries, she always broke those down immediately, multiple therapists were wiped clean out of ideas and didn't know anymore. I tried everything they said, they spoke to her multiple times, there's no getting through to her at all and they ran out of ideas. I need to break this dependency cycle because i'm asking for it at this point since i keep going back to her over and over, it's very painful and difficult to break free and fully accept she'll never be a mother in that sense and it breaks my heart and completely baffles me that someone's brain can bend that way. Seriously, mocking your daughter for sexual trauma, i've never heard of such a thing.
     
  2. QuietPeace

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    Dealing with cluster B personality disorder type behavior is very difficult. My mother was also that way, and that upbringing led to me getting into repeated abusive relationships. Someone mocking or even taking advantage of the things that I have suffered has happened. I found that reading up on it did help me though staying out of the pattern can still be difficult. Some books which have helped me.

    Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse - Shahida Arabi
    Healing from Hidden Abuse - Shannon Thomas
    Mothers Who Can't Love - Susan Forward & Donna Frazier Glynn

    You can also find different things in articles online which will give tips. If you are going to keep the abuser in your life (for many it is not practical to cut them out entirely) is called "Gray Rock", it involves not reacting to their provocations, the books above can help with it or doing a search on it. I found it very difficult myself but many people use these techniques. With other abusers in my life I found the best thing to do was to fully cut them out of my life, blocking every contact method including people we had in common. I actually wish that I had cut my mother out of my life in my early adulthood, my life would have been much better had I done so.
     
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  3. Lucy Marie

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    My mother has never loved me the way I wanted. With my son, Michael, people comment I am too easy on him—but I determined I would never do that to my son. It is disheartening to have someone who is supposed to unconditionally love us treat us this way.
    I lost a baby—I was given a dove pin and told to put it behind me, less than a month later. Yep, I get no empathy from Mom.
    Okay, now you know where I am coming from.....
    I believe you need a self defense class. Learn how to present confidence and control. Abusive people look for those they believe that the victim will not talk.
    I believe you need to talk with a professional. A person who can prepare you emotionally like self defense classes will physically. I see you have tried, but there is someone who will help.
    I am willing to listen and give moral support, what help I can I will give.
    It comes down to you and choices you make. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.....

    ((momhugs)). ((directionnorth))
     
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  4. OliveToday

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    First things first: hugs. So many flipping hugs from me to you. All the hugs. All the love. No conditions. You have been through horrible times and experienced horrible things and you are allowed to be scared and affected by what happened to you. I validate your emotions. I hear you. I validate that you have flashbacks that are crippling and that leave you feeling vulnerable and afraid. I validate that your trauma is real, that your fear is real. No one should be allowed to touch you or even look at you in a way that makes you uncomfortable and I am so sorry this happened to you. That guy at the hospital sounds disgusting - I would call security on his a**. I validate your desire to have a female doctor care for you. I want you to feel safe when you go to the doctor. It’s so important to feel safe around the people who see us at our most vulnerable. How dare your mom disrespect that.

    I hear you. You are so brave for going to therapy and trying to work through your fears and traumas. That kind of work is so difficult and I am so proud of you for pursuing it and speaking up about your needs. And you are so strong for posting here and reaching out when you needed support.

    Second: Please, be kind to you for returning to your mom for comfort even though it was denied to you before. Do not beat yourself up over this. I have a narcissistic father and I know exactly what thoughts are going through your head each time:

    “I want my dad/mom. I know s/he hurt me before, but I want to give her/him another chance. I’m really hurting and surely s/he’ll see that and show me kindness. This time, s/he will be there for me and it’ll be worth it. Surely no one is so heartless they’d ignore their child being in pain again.”

    Empathy is something we are taught that all human beings have. We expect it. When someone cries, someone else comforts. It’s an intrinsic part of being human. It’s not wrong to expect or want that from someone. Especially from a parent, someone who is expected to love their child unconditionally.

    The problem is: narcissists don’t have empathy. They have a mental illness that essentially blocks off that part of their brain. Just as PTSD causes you flashbacks, narcissism causes your mom to respond to your pain in a dismissive way. Narcissists are primarily concerned with themselves and with appearances - her denial that anything is wrong with you is part of that. Narcs are trying to project the image of perfection and you, as an extension of her, must be perfect. Otherwise, she has failed as a mother and her perfect image would be destroyed.

    It doesn’t matter whether she loves you or not. Abuse is abuse. Your mom has been emotionally abusing you. Every time she invalidates you, she abuses you.

    It sucks. I know how much it sucks. You didn’t ask for this kind of treatment. You didn’t marry her or adopt her - you were born into this environment. I am so sorry that it’s so hard. It takes a huge emotional and mental toll to be told again and again how you’ll never be good enough. We begin to internalize that message and the self doubt is devastating.

    You have taken the important first step of realizing the way she treats you is wrong. You are not alone. And you are more than good enough. Stay strong, friend. And please continue to reach out for support. We can get through this together.
     
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  5. Hope10

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    I'm so sorry you are going through this, I am still currently going through a similar thing my mother is a covert narcissist with borderline personality disorder as well, I highly advise you to leave and cut off all contact with her it will not be easy but the way she is treating you isn't okay what you went through was horrible, you've suffered so much and instead of being a mother you mom has actually tormented you further, if I was alone in my situation id leave my mother and my house in a heartbeat, my mother is one of jehovah's witnesses and she bullied everyone into becoming witnessess too I was baptized 13 years ago at age 13 I had no clue what I was getting into.it is absolutely a cult they try to control everything and what they don't try to control my mother does she has constantly compared me to the man who molested me at age 14 and was more concerned about "Jehovah's name being drug through the mud" than about me she uses my little brother who has autism to control me , the last time I talked about leaving the religion she said she'd put him in foster care because she wasn't going to raise him by herself I've been the one who's practically raised him all ten years of his life I do everything for him and her I clean and do most of the cooking I am emotionally numb or stoic most of the time because if I show any emotions she will use them against me , they enjoy being cruel they get off on causing is pain because it makes them feel superior, my mother will for others put on a nice act so much so that when I tried desperately to get others to see her as she really is no one would believe me.......only recently in February of 2018 when my biological mother came for a visit did anyone ever validate what she was doing to me we'd been around my biological mother many times but she's always kept up her nice act until this time my biological mother was shocked but she is the only person I trust she's all I have everyone else I know thinks I'm the problem because I want out of the high control religion they put me in a room with three men alone to tell about me being molested I felt I had to defend myself telling them I didn't want my adoptive father to molest me at 14 this was two years later after my biological little brother was born , so yeah I get not trusting any men I do and your feelings are valid but my mother is evil she enjoys chaos and pain in fact she'll find something anything to fight with my dad and honestly I care a million times more for my dad than my mom even though he molested me and that's saying something.....he doesn't try to control me or do anything really I don't want except her own expectations of him studying with the family from the witnessess study material.....she uses it as a weapon what he did and the religion she's vicious in her emotional and mental and verbal abuse she's always talking about my weight yeah I'm a hundred pounds overweight and no I don't really care I can lose the weight easily as soon as she's not in my life she's so stressful I try to stay in my room as much as possible right now. I was suicidal last year about may but finally after my adoptive mother threatened to put my brother in foster care and made me choose essentially between my biological mom who is also amazing and treats me wonderfully and her ..... I'd went about a year without contacting my biological mom and with covid my dad moved back in and my mom got a million times worse to the point I was very much so ready to commit suicide but I decided to try reaching out again to my biological mom but ensuring my adoptive mom couldn't find out this time at least not the real stuff we talked about and she helped me she saved my life I talk to her just about every day now in secret because it's really the only way my adoptive mom has my email on her tablet and she can check text messages when ever she wants because it is in her name so I talk openly on occasion to my biological mom but mainly using a secret email I talk to her, I know this is probably a lot and you'll probably have a hard time understanding why I went through this but I only really have one person in this world I can count on and that's my biological mother , I was raised from birth by my adoptive mother so she's the only real mother I've known,I know you have a mother like mine but maybe like me you can find one person who you can count on completely someone who you can be entirely yourself with . Please please try to get away from your mom and potentially cut off all contact her behavior is abusive mentally emotionally and verbally from what you've said , the longer you stay the worse your ptsd will get because of her belittlement of what you went through you can't heal properly. You need someone who will validate that you did nothing wrong that whoever hurt you they were the ones who did bad things you were a victim and now are a survivor. You are strong, stronger than you may know having survived all those horrible things and the stuff your mother puts you through you are incredibly strong and I hope for the best for you
     
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  6. Loves books

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    My dad is pretty mean. He never thinks he’s wrong. He acts like the world owes him. He’s jealous when my mother gives me too much attention. He’s threatened to have my dog shot. He tells me I’m an idiot, I’m selfish and if my mother dies before him he’s kicking me out. My mother believes him because she told me she put in her will he can’t kick me out. He’s told me he hates me and he never should have had kids. He was always malicious. It seems minor but when we were kids he’d show me a chocolate bar and ask if I wanted it. Some nights he’d have one for all of us but some nights he’d laugh as I cried because I was excited about the chocolate but he’d just eat it in front of me. I stopped answering him, I didn’t want to be sad if it was a trick again. The uncertainty was what got me. Its mean to play malicious games with a 5 year old. I ignore him these days. It really pisses him off. My brother and I hate him. I think that’s why we see my brother only twice a year. I try to be mean back but I can’t. I’ll buy him something from town if he asks I give him gifts he actually wants for Father’s Day, his birthday and Christmas.I say I won’t this time but I do. It was my birthday recently and I told my mother not to tell him when she was singing happy birthday because he always follows it up with a mean song. I can’t stop trying to see if he's human.
     
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  7. DirectionNorth

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    I hope everyone who replied sees this- first, i'm sorry for going AWOL, alot of things going on and it's difficult to keep up communication of any kind. I appreciate all of your replies, i do. And as fake as it might sound, it breaks my heart others having shit parents, it makes my blood boil that some people are so cruel and completely unfit and conniving in some cases. This is such a slow painful process, and my mom's annoyance with me not getting over shit when she wants me to, not believing i have ptsd because it happened years ago, i'm just being a drama queen, i can't take this. Intellectually i know she's toxic and more painful than the people who've hurt me. I can't get over this emotional attachment or need for her(or fantasy of a caring mom), she's showed more anger at me for not getting over it than she showed about people who hurt me, she literally said she can't take what i'm doing to HER with MY trauma!! Yes, i purposely got trauma to make her life more difficult, i got sexually assaulted just to make her life harder, she's saying what about her, do i see what i'm doing to her! What's worse is she literally puffs up and gets offended saying defiantly she DOES care, she DOES have empathy, but do i see what i'm doing to HER! She can't and doesn't even bother to try to see what she does to others and insists she does have empathy, i can't get over that, she believes yelling at me to STOP MY TRAUMA ALREADY and hanging up the phone after yelling at me, she insists she has empathy and sensitivity. After she mocks me for my trauma, how can she honestly believe she shows any kind of empathy and caring after she yells at me for keeping up my trauma game. I can't believe it, she insists she cares and has empathy and sensitivity.
     
  8. QuietPeace

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    I am sorry that you have to experience this, that anyone has to deal with an abusive person. Everything you say about her behavior and treatment of you matches perfectly with a toxic personality. Even if you choose to keep her in your life it is essential that you never even attempt to lean on her or try to share your needs with her. You must find some other way of getting support because you are not going to get it from her.
     
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  9. DirectionNorth

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    That's true, and i know, i don't know how to. Not only because of covid preventing me from going anywhere and being around anyone, but also insane trust issues. I know i'm more vulnerable to bad people like Epstein and his minions. Not in his particular case, but that happens to adults too, and my mom drilling in me if she doesn't understand, no one will, there is no help, no one will care more than she does(as i've established is a complete zero amount of care). But i agree and have heard that before, to find it elsewhere. I'm scared of being preyed upon and taken advantage of, which can happen in the lesbian community as well.
     
  10. QuietPeace

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    I have been through this myself. And yes, it also makes us vulnerable to people using us in relationships. I would recommend to my old self if I could that I get into therapy and work on self esteem issues and on how to recognize users and how to avoid them. I recommend this to you also. Another thing is to move to a safe space as soon as you can (I know with the virus this is difficult).
     
  11. DirectionNorth

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    I'm not living with her and haven't for 8 years, but i'm still under her thumb as i was when i was 11. I talk every day and she sends the front desk to check on me when it's been 24 hours since i last talked to her. One time she told them it'd been 3 days since she's heard from me, even though it was 25 hours exactly since i last spoke to her.
     
  12. QuietPeace

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    I do not know everything about your situation but if I were to be in the situation that you describe then I would disconnect completely. If telling the "front desk" (I do not quite understand your living situation) that I am cutting off contact with my mother did not work then I would move someplace new with no forwarding address and phone number. It seems to me that this level of harassment and abuse should be able to be reported but again I am not certain of your situation. It seems to me that she is a danger to your mental health and needs to be stopped.
     
  13. QuietPeace

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    Mothers Who Can't Love - Susan Forward
    Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare, How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself - Shahida Arabi
    Controlling People, How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You - Patricia Evans
    Healing from Hidden Abuse, A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse - Shannon Thomas
    Power, Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse - Shahida Arabi
    Emotional Vampires - Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry - Albert J Bernstein
     
  14. DirectionNorth

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    Those sound good and hit the nail on the head, i'll read those. And, i wouldn't say harassment necessarily, it's more just overbearing and controlling, the calling people who work in my building, lying about how long it's been since we last spoke. I'd like to cut it off with her and forge a new path, but i feel so dependant on her and indebted. Because, while all of these things are really hurting me and this cycle is damaging my mental health, she's supporting me financially and she did good things like support my career, took me to classes, never beat of verbally abused me(in the sense of calling me names or yelling things like dumb b*tch, etc, i mean), she did alot of good things, but the bad things described in this thread are very painful, i feel hopeless i'll ever find any friends or anyone decent, i honestly feel i'll be alone the rest of my life, i don't see how i can stand on my own two feet without her. Though i'm slowly coming to the realisation she isn't giving me what i need anyway, any warmth or caring or any responsibility for how she affects others. I don't know, i'm in a real rut now, clearly.