Friday, 22 June 2012

How to deal with a Narcissist Mother

First of all, if you've been accused of being a Narcissist Mother, you probably already feel anger and contempt for me already.
Watch out humans, I'm here to harm you.

If you're a Golden Child, but your siblings have mentioned that your Mother has Narcissistic qualities, you probably think I'm paranoid, spoilt , just like complaining and of course ungrateful.
If You've been a scapegoat of a Queen Crocodile, you probably want to know more and will recognize as very familiar what I've said already.

Ok , there are 3 options

1. Full compliance and submission. If you want your emotions extracted at will, your own children being taught to feel shame, guilt and always feeling somehow never loved, just carry on as you are. But remember just because your NM is normal and nice some of the time, or even most of the time, they are actually hard at work sucking you in. They never actually relax, they can't , they are completely insecure, they don't want you to find out that they're not human.

2. Complete no contact. This is an extreme measure, but NM's are extreme beings, they don't actually love you , they just need you to love them. But, saying that, they are also clever, they will get others to do their dirty work, they're far too clever to treat everybody badly. You WILL get that phonecall, that facebook message. However you will be able to get on with your life, enjoy it , be a success without hindrance, make mistakes without their adding humiliation to it.

3. Controlled or Minimal contact. This is my option, I moved countries but I like to visit home to see other friends and family too. But it's on my terms,  firstly for the sake of my daughter, she's now a teenager, she's happy, carefree and gets on well with others, abuse by a third party is not an option. Lastly it's for my sake, I have had my own life for a long time now. When I fly back to England I always stay with friends, I do visit my parents, but in short manageable bursts. When my parents come out to visit me, it's around when we can fit them in. They are retired, we run a business, they can't argue with that.

This may all sound a bit cold and calculating, but NM's operate this way, there isn't anything they do or say that isn't a careful calculation. And believe it or not, the reason is the same, self protection. I do it so we can enjoy a normal life, they do it to satisfy an insatiable desire to be adored.

Meetings with Queen Croc.

1. Potential put downs. For example, my mother always asks my partner and my daughter if they want to see the funny photo's of me as a teenager. (followed by screeching laughter)  Parry this by asking to see just the nice ones, or funny ones of golden sister. Don't be tempted to ask to see the funny photo's of Queen Crocodile, never fight fire with fire, they definitely won't exist anyway. Result, Queen Croc will ponder and plan the next move. Photo's will be forgotten.

2. Derision of some ostracised relative. This is my job, parry this attack with some thing like ' I'm sure you told it differently last time' .Before she can answer, go to the toilet, all go and queue at the toilet. She will wait, just to prove you wrong. Then pounce, bring out that nice present. offer to take them somewhere wonderful the next day and keep talking about it.

3. Long monologues about their wonderful successes. Distract, Distract , Distract!!  Answer that important call on your cell phone (should be on silent, but you can feel it ringing). Monologue will stop, she's too nosey and needs to know whats happening. Time for partner to ask a red herring question. Yes we planned this, tried it, it works.

4. Inappropriate presents form Queen Croc. Most NM's revel in this ploy, it's really quite a nasty trick. However, never ever show dislike or complain. This is an excuse to play the victim who tries her best and nobody appreciates it.

If it's an item of clothing that's sure not to fit, insist on trying it on. Always in my case a sweater that's completely weird and always too small. Insist that she doesn't take it back to the shop , but insist she gives to golden child or golden childs son. You can bet it will never arrive there.

If it's a toy or something that looks really very cheap, sympathize and advise her that she shouldn't spend so much money next time, perhaps just give a little bit of cash instead.

If it's obviously for a much younger child, ask if you really think that your son or daughter is old enough for something like this and are there any age recommendations on the box? Queen Croc  will know she's being backed into a corner, but won't try this particular trick again.

If it's a present which is obviously for a much older child, e.g. a book with adult content given to a 10 year old. This is inexcusable, and it has happened to us, look pleased, take the book from the child, find the offending passages and read them out loud.

The above are not theoretical examples, they are experiences.  But don't get hopeful, the same will happen next year.

5. Wallowing in self pity. Always recommend a psychiatrist, when reminded that you meant psychotherapist, claim ignorance and ask nicely for an explanation about the difference, Narcissists love to know better and will give a long educational condescending answer. I've done this twice and I usually quip that it sounds suspiciously similar, doesn't it folks. Result , even my Dad laughs at this. My Mother has a good answer to being laughed and that's claiming that everybody is ganging up on her, followed by a false screeching laugh. This is the time to laugh along with her.

6, Days out. Queen Crocs love being taken out.  Don't let her choose, always make it somewhere that the kids would love, she can't argue with that and she will sniff out an opportunity to get inside the children s heads. They really do know that people are susceptible to attack when they're happy and relaxed.
Big mistake Queen Croc, my daughter loves motor racing. But seriously, anywhere loud and busy will be better. Avoid quiet museums and art galleries, Queen Croc will know all about it and use it to lecture the kids and mix in a bit of mind play too.   Same with eating out, big loud and noisy, never quiet and cosy.

Queen Crocs aren't stupid, they know somehow you've kept them away, now is the time to really confuse them by saying that you think it's really nice that we all get on so well together these days. Then jump back on the plane and relax.

This was a quick synopsis of our last family visit back home, it's still draining to have this mother and I have to admit 2 things.
1. We planned our tactics in advance, including my daughter ,who is now 17.
2. We went on a real holiday 3 days later.


  1. It is so sad to me that as ACON, we have to take such measures to be around those that we should feel most comfortable and loved around. But, it is the reality. I also have "master plans" and escape routes planned with my husband, in case of emergencies. We plan get togethers at places of least "potential" for crap. I am the bad guy in these situations, too protective of my kids, blah, blah, but I'm really learning to not care (especially now that I know I am not the crazy one).
    As for the "screeching laughter". I can hear it in my head, it is the same obnoxious noise that comes out of my MIL. She uses laughter to counter all her "jokes" and teases. She laughs at EVERYTHING in order to look like she fits in. Often she doesn't even know what the hell she is laughing at. It is so often inappropriate that it is laughable in itself. She laughs so loudly and so often that it can only be deemed phony. It is like nails on a chalk board for me, but many other folks just see her as "fun loving and happy". Ha.

  2. Heh, Number 5 is good!

    It also reminds me of another outcome to suggesting professional help. They will tell you ad infinitum how hard life is for them, how something is wrong that makes normal experiences so difficult, how someone in their past screwed them up... but the minute you recommend a counselor, a doctor, or anyone else outside of the people to whom they've been complaining without improvement for years, suddenly there's nothing wrong with them! They're normal; anyone would react the way they do after undergoing All They've Been Through!

  3. Hi Cassandra
    No 5, is a weakpoint for my NM. My Father was having an affair throughout my teens. NM's conclusion was to blame me, things could get a bit scary, hysterical rages etc., even tricking me into visiting a child psychologist, which backfired on her completely. But she has the ultimate defence, by having a close friend who's a very successful psychotherapist in Los Angeles.
    This little lady has weird theories for just about everything, is extremely protective of my NM and constantly tries to get into everybodies heads, possibly on behalf of Queen Croc.

    If you look closely, NM's don't actually know when to laugh, you might see a little dart of the eyes to see others reactions, before launching into the loudest shriek. My Gran noticed this, when NM was a teenager and it's the same today.

  4. I warned my husband early on not to ever EVER tell my mother if you were going to return a gift. In his family, this is perfectly ordinary behavior, and he thought I was exaggerating. Until he did it once. My mother had bought our infant son a horrible outfit that was also not his size. My husband proudly showed her what we got instead, and he was stunned by the look on her face.

    I told him that the rule was, she did not get the wrong size YOU are the wrong size.

  5. strange as it seems all these things are so close to my mother, and i dont want to be like that

  6. It's a definite to have to plan ahead to self - protect against queen croc, and I greatly admire the humour and quick thinking of the adult child.When grandchildren are old enough to see the dysfunction and recognize that it's not normal behavior, becomes a healing slave for that adult child that managed to find her way through it all and change things for the better in the next generation. That's what has worked for me and my own family. My own queen croc had henchman help from a physically abusive father, and they are still a team. I feel sorry for the little girl that had to go through it all, and proud of the woman I am today despite everything. There can never be a fix for what happened in the past generation, but the future glows golden for those who can change it up.

  7. haha "Salve" ~ not "slave" my apologies

  8. Holy cow. I'm just starting to discover that I have a NM, and found this post and just had to say thank you. It is, verbatim, how my mother acts toward me. Right down to the weird presents (I have gotten thong underwear from the thrift store from her . . . my friends get around on my birthday to laugh at the presents). It's like . . . it's the personality and not actually my mom how exact she is.

    And now that I know this, I have no idea how to deal with it. I want to talk to my siblings and dad about it but I don't think our dynamic is such that it's a good idea. Erk.

    Thanks for doing this. I notice you haven't added anything so this project is over, but I appreciate you getting it out.