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Confronting a toxic parent....

Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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My heart always goes out to anybody who posts on this forum about dealing with a toxic parent. I grew up with an extremely volatile, narcissistic mother and I know first-hand how you can end up with a sense of worthlessness and self-hatred as they project all their failings onto you.

I had reached a place of peace and understanding about my mother many years ago but yesterday she was verbally abusive towards my eleven year old son. She told him he was hopeless...stupid...gormless...would never amount to anything...all because he couldn't find his school shirt which she herself had removed from the place it was left in...all delivered in a red-faced rage that I remember so well. We had been staying with her and this took place before I had to drive him to school. I told her to stop verbally abusing my son and to control herself like an adult before I left with him. We didn't go back and I didn't trust myself to deal with this calmly without some cooling off time.

This morning, I dropped my son to school and went to see my mother. She was as sweet as honey until I broached the subject of yesterday and told her the way she spoke to him was toxic and destructive. She defended her behaviour as 'discipline' and told me she could behave any damn way she wanted in her own home. I told her how afraid and hurt he had been and this was dismissed as exaggeration...making a fuss about nothing...before escalating into a tirade of abuse directed at me.

After a foul argument she has decreed that she never wants to see me again...doesn't want to see that "fucking son of mine" ever again and told me that I am mentally unbalanced...I make up the past, none of it ever happened....I'm a bad tempered bitch who has no right to shout at her....etc.

And the anger and frustration is there again - everything she ever did and said over the years is flashing up in my mind. And you feel impotent because your emotions and the truth is NEVER acknowledged because your narcissistic parent is remaining blameless and faultless, as they always do.

It saddens me that my parent would rather lose her daughter and grandson than apologise or take any responsibility for her own behaviour. She would prefer to cut us dead and (in her mind) maintain control than say "I'm sorry - I shouldn't have said those things."

I wonder - when they re-write history and erase all the harm they cause - do they really believe their own lies? So sad.
 
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EstherRose94

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My grandmother had an abusive mother and she pretty much kept us away from her. She’d come on Christmas. Grandma took care of her moms nursing home setup and stuff and got her adopted sibling into assissted living for young adults. She still comes at holidays. But for the most part my grandma didn’t go out of her way to bring her mom around us and it was totally fine. You become the matriarch of the family and make it better. My gma is so sweet and kind and has instilled her values in us and thankfully I didn’t learn about great gmas very different world view until I was older.
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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My grandmother had an abusive mother and she pretty much kept us away from her. She’d come on Christmas. Grandma took care of her moms nursing home setup and stuff and got her adopted sibling into assissted living for young adults. She still comes at holidays. But for the most part my grandma didn’t go out of her way to bring her mom around us and it was totally fine. You become the matriarch of the family and make it better. My gma is so sweet and kind and has instilled her values in us and thankfully I didn’t learn about great gmas very different world view until I was older.
Bless you Esther for replying.

I am very much the matriarch - my mother is 84 and dependent on me for transport, cooking and company. She has been a widow for twenty years, with no friends or family in contact except me and she doesn't drive. I have purposefully kept her involved with our life and my son has no other family in this country aside from her. This is what saddens me - that she would rather 'cut off her nose to spite her own face' as the saying goes, than admit wrongdoing. My mother has never apologised in her life ...that's quite an achievement!
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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(double post.)
 
B

baileys

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I have a narcissistic mother. In my experience, there is no point in confronting and arguing with them because as far as they are concerned they are always right about everything. There is some good reading on the net about how to handle them, it might help you. I gave up on mine about 4 years ago, I had had enough
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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I have a narcissistic mother. In my experience, there is no point in confronting and arguing with them because as far as they are concerned they are always right about everything. There is some good reading on the net about how to handle them, it might help you. I gave up on mine about 4 years ago, I had had enough
Sorry to hear you've had the same parenting experience. :hug:
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

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My opinion is that sort of behaviour can be quite damaging, and yet she appears to be unable to see it?
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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My opinion is that sort of behaviour can be quite damaging, and yet she appears to be unable to see it?
She knows it's damaging. Just never accountable for her own actions - never says 'sorry' or can ever be wrong......
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

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I guess the phrase "family, can't chose them" comes to mind... I guess as long as your son doesn't take it to heart, is the main thing...
 
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Coolname

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I wonder - when they re-write history and erase all the harm they cause - do they really believe their own lies? So sad.
She knows it's damaging. Just never accountable for her own actions - never says 'sorry' or can ever be wrong......
Amazing how different yet the same my own mother is. She prefers to play the victim or be disruptive in public than throw a tantrum these days, ever since my reaction to her getting angry was to leave. I keep contact down to a couple of times a year and maintain strong boundaries, if she tries to get onto subjects that either needle me or may be a source of ammunition I point blank refuse to answer. I never really thought of her as having a PD but the parallels with the stories I hear of NPD mothers are too numerous to ignore.
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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Amazing how different yet the same my own mother is. She prefers to play the victim or be disruptive in public than throw a tantrum these days, ever since my reaction to her getting angry was to leave. I keep contact down to a couple of times a year and maintain strong boundaries, if she tries to get onto subjects that either needle me or may be a source of ammunition I point blank refuse to answer. I never really thought of her as having a PD but the parallels with the stories I hear of NPD mothers are too numerous to ignore.
Coolname, do you mind me asking - how instrumental do you think your experiences with your mother have been to your mental health? Please don't reply if you don't want to... xx
 
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Coolname

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That is hard to say. She certainly looms largest in my mind but my father was as disturbed and outright nasty in his own way, older siblings too. Strange and terrible house to grow up in.

I once overheard some lads talking about a friend of theirs. One said that if his parents treated him like that he would have killed himself. Things like that are a useful reminder that the environment too many of us grew up in was abnormal.
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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That is hard to say. She certainly looms largest in my mind but my father was as disturbed and outright nasty in his own way, older siblings too. Strange and terrible house to grow up in.
So sad to hear you had two to contend with. :hug:

My father was passive, mild-mannered and sweet. Unfortunately, totally ineffective in protecting us from her.
 
sadpunchingbag

sadpunchingbag

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seen quite a few similar posts i will link this video it helped me like so much please watch i am sure you will get massive value out of this video

 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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seen quite a few similar posts i will link this video it helped me like so much please watch i am sure you will get massive value out of this video

Thank you for that. :hug:

To be honest, I'm well-versed and practised on dealing with her but witnessing her bully MY child threw the book out of the window and brought my own childhood flooding back. I called her out on it - explained exactly WHAT she was doing and WHY she was doing it and verbalised in no certain terms how much it disgusted me. Head on with a narcissist is ill-advised - but my dignity is intact and my child was defended and protected.

She has been undeservingly fortunate to have a daughter and the sweetest grandson that visit daily and give her love and a family life. Everybody else closed the door on her years ago. I've nursed her through cancer and a broken hip and assumed the role of unpaid carer to keep her living independently in her own home. How she treats me is 'water off a duck's back' - I take the rough with the smooth and just accept her for what she is. Tearing into an eleven year old innocent because it makes her feel good to vent and gives her pleasure to see his tears and shoulders sag in misery sickened me and I met her blue-faced rage head on.

Any sort of remorse or personal epiphany on her part will probably never come - but she can watch that door as long as she likes because neither will we. My son is my life - not her. My dad left her pots of money and a big, comfortable home all paid for. She can amply fund any care she needs.

Ironic that we spend years studying and trying to understand their ways and motives and moods whilst ours mean nothing to them.
 
G

Girl interupted

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Here’s the thing. You have all the power in this relationship, and she has none. You can choose when to go see her, and when not to.

If she can abide by your rules and be composed, then she gets to visit with you and your dear son. If she cannot, then you will need to cut her off until she can do so.

You recognize that she is mentally ill and sometimes will have zero clue that her behaviour is not appropriate. But if you physically get up and get out the minute she “turns” you will start to condition her on a very base level to recognize that her behaviour is unacceptable. And it is. This goes for all types of communication ... phone, email, etc. You don’t have to be rude, just firm. “I’m sorry, but I have to go”

Your son comes first. Always.

She needs to learn that’s it’s a privilege for her to spend any time with him (and you). And you need to recognize that there are things you can do, like leaving, that will empower you.

We know with NPD parents that getting distance is sometimes the kindest thing we can do.

I’m so sorry this happened. You have enough on your plate at the moment. Xo
 
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