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u/awkwardbabyseal · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists


The TLDR up front: My mom is a "Passive" Emotionally Immature Parent, which basically means she seems like a sweet lady in light-hearted situations when she can just enjoy herself, but she's absolutely inept at managing emotionally intimate and stressful situations that require her to be sensitive to anyone but herself in those moments.

Helpful book I found that aims to teach adult children of EI parents what the EI characteristics are and how to manage relationships with those parents if going LC or NC isn't possible.


My mom has been living in an apartment building with a majority of elderly or senior residents, and they all just seem to love her. She was an RN back in the early 2000s and still regards herself as a nurse despite letting her practicing license expire (she's been "retired" since I graduated high school over a decade ago). She'll go around to neighbors in her building and do little things like check their blood pressure (literally has one of those automated cuffs that you just slip on, and the machine does all the work for you). She has no concept of how to cook for one person, so she'll cook meals big enough to feed a family of four or five and bring plates of food over to her neighbors. According to her, one of her neighbors collapsed on the floor, and mom found her in her apartment and performed cpr for twenty minutes until the paramedics could show up. Woman lived. Everyone in her building deems her their guardian angel, and she totally revels in this identity of her being a hero and a healer.

Talk to any of us kids about our relationships with Mom, and they're strained at best. Mom is what I've learned to be an "emotionally immature parent." There's four categories (Demanding, Emotional, Passive, and Rejecting), and my mom pretty well falls into the "Emotional" and "Passive" parents. The Emotional aspect boils down to her being able to use her emotions like a contageon to make everyone around her feel anxious or upset when she is worked up. She relies on other people to stabilizer her, and people who opt to help her become her rescuers while anyone who sets clear boundaries with her are dubbed as abandoners.

The Passive part of her immature nature means that she basically shuts down or ignores any uncomfortable or even dangerous emotional situations and leaves her dependents to deal with it alone. This particular aspect of her personality is what causes the most trouble as she will ignore the existence of an obvious problem until it grows to a nearly unmanageable proportion. Mom also has a lot of chronic health conditions, and she'll complain that her doctors don't listen to her when she believes something new is wrong with her. Meanwhile, she blatantly ignores doctor's orders to rest, eat a proper diet per her restrictions (she has Crohn's disease) or do self work needed for her recovery or health management,yet it's the doctors' faults if her condition worsens. (Externalizers always think it's the world's responsibility to change to better their personal situation.)

Mom also used myself and two of my older siblings as personal therapists, but she fails to give any reasonable emotional support back to us. She likes to act like she does all she can to help us kids, and we just don't appreciate her efforts enough when the reality is that she just does whatever she wants regardless of that effort being something we actually need or specifically requested. When we do specifically request her attention or attendance to something that matters to us, she flakes out super hard.

I found examples in this book I linked before describing situations almost verbatim to what I experienced growing up regarding how my mom failed to address the reality of living with my abusive stepdad. Apparently the Passive Parent, which is predominantly what my mom seems to be, is the most difficult type for outsiders to see because the Passive Parent is more or less functional in all calm and fun situations. They love the happy moments. It's when shit hits the fan that they become completely inept at managing themselves on even basic levels, which is why they can't offer any substantial emotional support to friends or loved ones. They're always in need of external validation to reassure themselves when they're down, and any critique of their behavior becomes a personal attack. They cope by minimizing problems and acquiescing to the demands of other people (even blatantly unreasonable demands) to qwell the disturbance. They also have no concept of time and are quick to forget past transgressions they committed, so bringing up anything they did in the past as it relates to something they're currently doing in the present is completely lost on them. They see no connection between the two.

This book gave some clear explanations of how emotionally immature people function and a few basic ways to manage those relationships. What I've learned is that my mom has the emotional maturity of a child, so I basically have to manage my interactions with her as if I'm dealing with a child. Avoid major emotional topics; and if she gets worked up, I need to just observe what she's doing and not get emotionally involved in the situation. It's interesting because my older sister (15 year age gap between us) is also incredibly emotionally immature, and I've had to deal with her for some years now knowing she has the emotional acuity of a fourteen year old (or younger at times)... And not a mature teenager at that. It's taken me longer to accept this fact with my mom because... She's my mom. I expect her to play a mature role who can give me useful advise when I need it in my young adulthood. I live a stable life. Got a good job and am engaged to a wonderful man. I don't need financial support from my family (not that my parents were able to help in that department either). The only thing I could need at this point in my life is the emotional support of an emotionally competent parent at times, and the truth is that I am way more emotionally mature than my mom is. She can't help me in the way I would want her to, and it's so incredibly frustrating to try to convey that feeling to people when they talk about how great my mom is. Sure, she can be fun at light hearted gatherings, but that's about it. When it counts, she's unreliable; and the majority of my interactions with her happen when she wants to vent to me about her own emotional distress. She never asks me how my life is going. It's always about her and what I can do for her. I have to restrain myself when people outside our family talk about how generous, sweet and kind my mom is because they don't have to deal with her the way my siblings and I do.

u/crushedviolet · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I had to respond, there are way too many parallels in our stories.

I’m 35 (M &gay). Like you I realised my father was deeply disordered (even before I understood and recognised NPD). I was about 32 when I began to fully join-the-dots and understand narcissism. I am now no contact with my father over two years. Initially I was still in contact with my enabling mother.

My mother had always maintained contact and wanted to know everything. She had this strange obsession with me ‘not being settled’ – this was despite being with the same partner, in the same city for nearly 5 years, being fully independent financially, with a successful professional career, having supported myself through my Bachelor’s Degree.

I think what she really meant was that I hadn’t ‘achieved’ the same material success as the Golden Child. This would have of course been impossible given the toxic level of nepotism within the family and inordinate levels of material wealth that flowed the Golden Child’s way (from wealthy toxic parents). From my mother comments were always very subtle but de-valuing and invalidating none the less.

I subsequently went no contact with her several months ago after understanding her crucial role in the whole dynamic. I didn’t want to vicarious connection to my narcissistic father or family. It was clear my mother had just been helicoptering all these years.

I fully support your statement about surviving both of them because of YOU! (This rings so true).

I think understanding the pathology is the first crucial step. Having a partner who understands is really helpful for the healing journey too. For us (as ACONS) it is easy to read an article, identify and connect. For those who grew up in non-disordered families understanding might take more of an effort. Prior to going no contact with my folks my boyfriend did once stay with them. He felt so uncomfortable around my father (for good reason) that we left to stay with a friend (we live at a different side of the country from my folks). Whilst he is supportive and understanding he didn’t experience toxic parenting (and resulting emotional impacts). Try to find some appropriate resources to help your partner understand the trauma you have been exposed to.

I came out as gay in my early teens. I face homophobia within the family, at school and in the community. Despite proclamations of supposedly being supportive my mother astounded me last year by suggested in an email that I should not have come out so young but should have waited until later like such-and-such. This was like 20 years after my coming out and her/their supposed acceptance. Again all about image and how the family appears. Thankfully I have not lived anywhere near to them for the over a decade.

I too was conditioned to the narcissistic family dynamic. No amount of achievement was/would ever be enough despite development of highly perfectionistic tendencies. Decisions and choices were always overtly or subtly undervalued, or compared to the Golden Child’s. Like you I defended my mother, pitied her and had carried a life-long urge to rescue her from my father’s abuse (I am now unburdened of that weight).

It truly is a disturbing reality to wake up to. Despite this, I wouldn’t wish to un-see the pathology.

Inevitably the way we were parented has impacted our internal emotional landscapes. You talk about being triggered by your partner. Have you looked in to CTPSD? Earlier on in my recovery I was severely triggered (not just in my relationship with my partner). Things have definitely gotten better for me. Have you undertaken any therapy?

There is an excellent book by Pete Walker on this subject:

I also highly recommend Dr Judy WTF. She really gets the narcissistic family thing. There are so many videos on her channel:

Things will get better : )

u/OkRaspberry2 · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

You shouldn't feel guilty. I was made to feel the same way about myself, but my mantra is "living well is the best revenge", because despite everything that my mother had done to me to make me feel like I'd never amount to anything, I have a wonderful life. You deserve to be happy. It sounds like you need to do some work on yourself, which means you need to take a step back and maybe see a counselor. If you want to start with maybe reading a good book on the topic, start with "Will I Ever Be Good Enough" : You are NOT to blame for the way you were raised.

It is extremely hard to live with the consequences of being raised by an NMom, I know. I still have to deal with it - there's nothing like feeling guilty about picking your mom up for Thanksgiving dinner from the low-income senior citizens apartment complex (she took out a reverse mortgage and blew through all the money after my dad passed) in a brand-new $50k SUV. Trust me. You just have to take it one day at a time and build yourself a good support network. I do suggest that you see a doctor though, it sounds like you had a pretty good anxiety attack. I had one like that about 17 years ago that caused me to re-evaluate much of my life. I spent about 3 years on medication to help with it. I no longer take anything though, and now I maybe get mini- anxiety attacks about once every other year, but nothing I can't deal with without the meds. I find that yoga is a huge help.

I am still VERY limited contact with my mom. Talk to her maybe once a month and have her for dinner on holidays.

u/palebluestars · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Hey! I'm also working on recovery. Some books that I've really found helpful are Feeling Good, and Complex PTSD. Moodgym is also pretty awesome. The first book and the website show you how to use CBT in your own life, and this has really helped me out in terms of everyday anxiety and depression. The Mentalpod is a cool little podcast, and while it doesn't only cover childhood abuse, it helps me feel less alone with all of this stuff, and makes me more aware of my feelings and struggles. Hearing your story come out of another person's mouth is such a healing experience. Episodes 131 and 126 especially are useful.

I think the rest of the work though really has to do with trauma and grief. The second book is invaluable for that. I need to grieve my lack of a childhood. I need to grieve my lack of an available mother. I think this is what "the hole in my heart" is really related to. Sometimes I'll cry about it but do my best to be compassionate with myself. Though these realizations are fucking awful, they are also freeing. I didn't deserve any of it, and I'm not bad for standing up for myself. While my upbringing taught me otherwise, most people are generous, kind and forgiving, and more open to love than I believed possible. I'm able to see myself breaking more and more out of my old survival mindset, and I'm able to see that the world is a beautiful place. It's all a process and we'll both do better and better as time goes on.

Best of luck in your journey! :)

u/KirinRanchu88 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

As the child of a borderline, the book stop walking on eggshells and a counselor reeeally helped me. No doubt you’ve experienced enough drama to know you are tough as nails, and not the one at fault! Growing up is hard enough. But you have a parent who has an untreated and unmanaged mental illness that even grown adults would walk away from. Of course he’ll project and call you crazy, that’s because projection is a form of his denial. Unfortunately if you attempt to control your image, and stop their smear campaign, they’ll be sure to manipulate enough that it seems to prove their point. Give it up, and keep your head up. You prove who you are by your actions and demeanor and they lose ammunition. Anyone worth their salt will see though it, and those who cannot are not people worthy of your time. At your age some people won’t get that it’s like growing up in an emotional warzone and really unless someone else experienced a similar nightmare, they aren’t going to understand the zero respect for boundaries and repeated abuse, neglect and emotional manipulation you endure. The moment you leave an abuser is when they act out, in attempt to regain control, but the boundary you placed by removing yourself from their attempts to incite a response deserves major applause! It’s the biggest step towards reclaiming your right to live that you could ever take, and know that there are many adults who still haven’t decided to take that leap due to overwhelming shame or fear of worse outcomes, or out of a repeated desire to please the parent and receive love. You don’t have to fix anyone to receive love, and you don’t have to walk on eggshells, or jump through hoops to receive love. You just accept love, and place boundaries with those who cross over your own. The children of narcissists and borderlines will also experiences disenfranchised grief. Connecting with a good counselor to help with coming through PTSD and learning how to establish boundaries, and know you have worth is pivotal to living a happy and healthy life as an adult. It saved my life! I chose at 15 to live with a woman and help clean her house/babysit her child to stay away from my toxic mother, so I could focus on passing school. Family and friends really didn’t get why, but guess what? That’s because they don’t know that it isn’t just regular teenager/parent tribulations and angst. You are not nuts, you’re exhausted for understandable reasons.

This book may really help.

Or these too

u/RamseysGirl · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

This book literally changed my life. It's focused on borderline personality disorder (BPD) and there are differences, but many more similarities than not. It's believed BPD and NPD (and antisocial personality disorder/ASD) may be on a continuum, as there is so much overlap in signs/symptoms traits, they're often considered on the same spectrum.

Much of the writing by Randi Krueger brought me great comfort. If you go to her website it is host to a variety of support groups (they're yahoo groups, so not incredibly convenient, but very popular and active-members have been through it all, and many are veterans who have been in the group 5-10 years who stick around just to support newcomers and give advise) for anyone with any kind of relationship with a BPD - general, coparenting, children of, parents of, staying, divorcing, women only, etc. I've been a member there for years as my soon to be ex husband has BPD/NPD, but I don't participate much because the yahoo groups emails get kind of spammy and threads are hard to navigate, but it's another great resource. If you're looking for validation for your feelings, or any kind of support, that's definitely a great place.

These two resources were invaluable for me in helping me understand my situation and if/how I could change it. It took me years and lots of therapy, but I'm getting there. Best of luck!

u/Mycel · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

I had that happen as well, though I didn't realize it as much at the time.

First, since you asked, some books:

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Toxic Parents

Why Does He Do That?(still applicable if you change genders)

If you're able to move away, you should. You need to get as much distance as you can to build your own life and personality. I think I took five years before I started becoming the person I am now, and I'm still a ways to go in building my self-esteem.

If you can't move, like u/LuluThePanda said, you should still start doing daily affirmation habits. Little steps matter, even as little as saying "why yes, I do look pretty awesome today." You need to start "faking it until you make it" - it won't come naturally at first, but the more you do it, the better it will feel, and the more it will feel like it's really you.

Also, you may want to stop telling your mother about successes you have. It's your call, but I found that my mother didn't actually have any interest in my doing well, more that I could act as her council when called on. That and she doesn't understand what success means in my field. I stopped talking about any luck I had/goals I reached, and it helped me stay calm more often.

Good luck, and stay strong! You're doing great!

edit: formatting

u/someCreativeName00 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

It's better, but does not fix everything. I went NC in April and had to save up enough to go to therapist, but finally went to therapist in Nov. The combination of NC and therapy is good. I also read (even though we're both sons I found it useful, especially the stuff about the smothering motther and the letting go of wanting a mother and parenting yourself:

so, with the NC and the work on myself, NC has been great. My nmom still tries to call, write, etc...because if I'm not around, it may look like she's not a good mom, which she isnt', but she too concerned about the look of it than actually doing anywork in getting to know me. So, yeah, also I'm convinced (maybe it's fleas) but having a narc parent (whether you are GC/SG/mixed) lead to c-PTSD which manifests in depression/anxiety. It seems like a lot of poeple here (myself) included suffer from that. I've been doing some reading about c-ptsd and that treatmetn may be different than depression/anxiety--anyway, I digress--I should make a post about that. Good luck, post here, and PM me if you want (if we're both sons of a covert Nmom). maybe start a smaller support group? but, the more I read on here, I'm not sure if it matters if you are m/f/t--ACON is messed up!! LOL :-)

u/1ClassyMotherfucker · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

>is this narcissism I'm dealing with,

Yes. No one here can diagnose her, but N behavior was obvious to me from your first sentence: "I've learned to act a certain way around my mother, in fear of upsetting or disappointing her." People who need to be 'managed' like this or who demand special treatment are often Ns.

>and how can I get through to her in a non-fighting kind of way to make this behavior stop?

Well, do you want the behavior to stop, or do you want her to be happy about it? Because you can't get both, not with an N. You have to put your needs before her wants -- you need to live your own life, you need space to grow and thrive, but she wants to be the center of your universe. Someone like that isn't going to be happy about your setting boundaries. So either you get what you need or she gets what she wants, but you can't have both. I recommend taking care of your own needs! She'll survive, even if she acts like she won't.

Tips for setting boundaries are all over the place, google is your friend here. Or check out the sidebar of this sub!

>We're still close: she's my mom and we get along for the most part, and I don't want to cut her out because there's no way I won't stay close to my family, regardless.

What you're essentially saying here is that if she wants to continue to abuse you, you'll let her. That there's nothing she could do that will cause you end this relationship. Think about that. I think you'd be better off by not making these kinds of deals with yourself up front. Just keep an open mind for now and learn as much as you can about narcissism and yourself. I strongly recommend the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? and a good therapist.

Good luck, you have your whole life ahead of you! And remember, it's YOUR life, not hers!

u/disbelief12 · 5 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I want to upvote this comment more.

While VLC/NC is a goal for many of us (and may truly be the best outcome -- I know it is for me), the process to get there can be excruciating. When you have been raised in a toxic environment, fear, obligation, and guilt are STRONG. Even doing something simple like deleting Whats App can take a mountain of will and can induce a lot of emotional turmoil.

/u/ButtaChicken, I will tell you that you have endured a lot of abuse and dysfunction. I'm proud of you for surviving that. The instances where you describe 'snapping' are totally justified -- you should never have been put in a position where you were exposed to that kind of behavior. Absolutely no part of that is your fault.

It sounds like you need a break from your family. The crushing anxiety you feel is your body trying to tell you that these relationships are not good for you.

I want you to think about what you want that you can give to yourself. Obviously, the ideal is to not have family who act this way. But how they behave isn't under your control. What is under your control is what you do. Do you want space? How can you get that? What would that process look like? What would the first step be? For example, do you want scheduled times to check in that you set? Do you want to check in every other day for a while? Or is there something else that would work best for you right now?

In my view, there are 2 approaches that you can take here -- you can rip the bandaid off, by deleting apps, blocking people's phone numbers, and ghosting. Or you can do it a bit at a time, which allows you to see the benefit of getting a little bit of space and may provide positive reinforcement for getting a little more. It sounds like previous attempts at getting some space have not gone well, since the web of flying monkeys is pretty intense. So I think whichever approach you choose, you will need some support in doing it. Seeking out a therapist is a good start. One who deals with childhood trauma and understands NPD, especially. I think that reading some books may also be helpful, so that you get an outsider's perspective on what you've gone through. You know it isn't normal, but we don't always know how not normal things are. Someone suggested Toxic Parents, which I would second. I think having a support structure for this process could help you work through the guilt and feeling of obligation that comes when you attempt to set boundaries.

Please know that many of us have been in the same shoes, and it can get better. It is hard, but you are worth it. Please reach out for help, both from us and from someone with professional training.

Hugs if you want them.

EDIT: I found a book list in the RBN archives. Some of these may resonate with you. :-)

u/hotcaulk · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

First off, welcome. I'm sorry about the circumstances that have brought you here but i'm happy you found us, all the same. A book a few us have found helpful is Stop Walking On Eggshells. What i found most useful in that book was its discussion on establishing boundaries. You can't control your mum's behavior but i think the book gave me the tools i needed to really establish some boundaries with my mum.

No need to apologize for the length of your story. In a purely selfish sense, the more details i read the better i get at identifying these tactics when my family tries to use them on me. The more familiar something becomes the easier it gets to spot.

From what i have found from my mum is that if she has to follow boundaries like "no lying" and "no ad hominem attacks" she prefers to just not talk. We communicate in questions that have very specific answers now. She'll gladly talk about anything that doesn't involve her being held to the standards of a decent and caring human. If she mentions "working on our relationship" i just remind her we agreed involving a third party like a counselor or therapist would be best and i am awaiting her cooperation in that. Then i get a bunch of contradictory stories and excuses for not doing that.

The hilarious thing is she will occasionally forget and come to me for her Nsupply. Whenever she gets in trouble at work (she's a nurse) she has to validate her "i'm a victim and they're all out to get me!" point of view. The rules she breaks are so obvious even an uneducated layperson like myself knows she's in the wrong. Halfway through her story you can tell her what she got in trouble for and she's always surprised how you figured it out. Setting boundaries has been a good first step. It's only been about 4-5 months since we did that but it seems like she is adjusting to it. It's still a work in progress. I actually recorded the conversation and go over every once and again to remind myself of the boundaries we agreed to. Also, when she "forgets" the boundary discussion i offer to send her the recording, funny how she suddenly remembers it then...

u/wetoldyounottotell · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Oh wow. I feel like I could vomit sympathy right now. I understand that you love your mother, but the way she behaves is not okay. And you cannot minimize her anger or affect how much of it is directed at you. The only thing you have control over is how much you choose to expose yourself to. Have you ever read the book Stop Walking on Eggshells? It came to mind since you used the phrase.

> I love my mom dearly, but it's like walking on eggshells and I don't think I deserve her brunt of anger directed at me.

You don't deserve it.

> She's been doing it for years, and I'm not asking her to stop entirely

Have you considered it?

> It's just exhausting, along with the fact that she's close to me so I hear about a lot of her issues. Not that I don't like this, don't get me wrong.

You don't have to correct yourself here. I know exactly what you mean. I love talking with my friends and can be perfectly happy listening to them vent for an hour and helping them feel better, but my mother exhausts me, doesn't want to fix her problems, and wants to use me as her verbal punching bag. If it ever made her feel any better, she didn't make those feelings known.

Have you ever told your mother she when she is yelling or being angry that you don't like talking to her when she is that way?

u/MakePeaceInThisPiece · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Again, I'm not a professional anything.

I've seen this sort of thing before in other couples, and I've shown these same patterns myself. I'm going to speak for myself, because I don't know the particulars of your situation, and I don't want to pretend that I do.

Ten years ago, I didn't have the tools to get my needs met in a healthy way. It was either all or nothing. My thinking was "everything will be perfect if..." and anything that didn't act how I wanted--myself included--was the problem.

It took a 12-step program, a lot of reading and on-and-off counseling over many years, but I have a toolkit now that makes me much more functional and happy. It makes the people around me much more comfortable, too (with certain hilarious exceptions.)

I'm talking about things like literally learning how to apologize and make amends. I seriously didn't know how until I sat down and learned it.

Today I accept that making a mistake doesn't mean I am a mistake. I accept that everyone is fighting a great battle. I accept that I can make amends instead of making guilt stew.

The good news is a person like me can learn new habits and patterns of thinking.

The bad news is no one else can fix that person. It has to come from within.

For you, I recommend Codependent No More, which changed my life.

For your partner, I recommend professional help for his depression so he has a healthy mental state for dealing with the rest.

u/Hail_the_IT_Goddess · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Have you read 'Will I ever be good enough?'

I saw mention of this book in this sub, and it is full of information that will strike deep a the heart of everything you're going through. Personally, I'm still in recovery, but I've been where you are with feeling worthless and suicidal. It doesn't have to be this way.

You're right. You ARE strong. You CAN overcome and even forgive, but you have to get through acceptance first. Please consider the book I mentioned, Amazon has a nice pre read available. I really think it will be worth your time.

Best of luck honey. You're never alone. We've all been through this. Come back to this sub whenever you need help. We will be here.

u/BonkersVonFeline · 6 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Here's a recent post about not loving our N parents that might help show you that you are not the only one who feels this way. I HATED my mother growing up. She was and still is a very unloving, brutal person. Why would I love her? The guilt is probably just societal programming, where not loving and honoring your parents is blasphemous. But if you look at it logically, it makes total sense why we feel this way. How would a dog react to being hit every time it came close to you? Would it love you and try to be affectionate with you? NO. It would probably cower in fear around you or any person, and would snap and attack. Why should we hold ourselves to a different standard than we would any other animal? You get what you give, and what have they given us?

If I were you, I would emancipate myself entirely and ASAP. This is close to what I did. Right at 18, I moved hours away and mostly paid almost all my own bills. My parents really didn't support me too much. I think my mother took out one small school loan and my dad sent me $100 a month, but I could have easily survived without that. I removed ALL ties with them as quickly as I could, because they used anything for manipulation. This really isn't too hard to do.

If you can't do that right now, it sounds like you're detaching emotionally which is good. Maybe you can just keep to yourself and try to survive until you get some physical distance from them. Don't engage them in any way. Only interact with them when you HAVE to. If they hassle you, maybe you can just agree (in principle or even just to placate them) and exit the situation ("yep you're probably right about that, OK gotta go!"). But DO try to get out ASAP. Don't jump into another shitty situation though. See if you can find a female roommate you can stand living with. I wouldn't move in with your boyfriend or another male just out of desperation because I find this usually ends BADLY. But obviously this is up to you. Try to find a place that's SAFE for you and don't just jump from one shitty situation to another.

Then as far as rebuilding your self-esteem, for me I had to get into therapy. If you can do this it could save your life. If that isn't possible, here are a list of cheap books that have helped me immensely (which I recommend reading and working through with or without therapy):

  • Feeling Good and Ten Days To Self-Esteem by David Burns
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Toxic Parents by Susan Forward (I don't agree with her recommendation on confronting your parents but the rest is good.)

    I believe there are a list of resources including a full list of books on the right sidebar too. If you don't like any of these resources, you can ALWAYS find something that will appeal to you if you keep working at it. There is SO much out there for us if we keep at it. Be sure to take breaks too. This work can be exhausting.

    If you can get into Al-Anon that might help too. I personally don't care for 12-step programs, but many people seemed to have been helped by them and Al-Anon is specifically recommended by many books. They say it's for people who have dealt with alcoholics and drug addicts, but I tell you I went to six meetings like they recommend, and it's NO DIFFERENT for those of us who have dealt with narcissism. I've read that all alcoholics are narcissists, so maybe that's why it was so relevant to me. One slogan I picked up that helped a lot is "You Didn't Cause It. You Can't Control It. You Can't Cure It." We didn't cause our parents to be the way that they are, we can't control it (no amount of letter writing, talking, setting boundaries, etc.) and there is nothing we can do to change them. The literature is pretty dismal when it comes to curing narcissism anyway (NPD). Either way, they'd have to want to get help and help themselves, which rarely ever happens. So we have to focus on ourselves and forget about helping them - this is not selfish! We were often groomed to take care of them and our feelings, wants and needs were completely inconsequential. We were just extensions of them. This is probably why it feels so selfish at first to start taking care of ourselves.

    >I'm currently depressed and see no good in life.

    I've been working at this for a LONG time and still feel this way sometimes. I think it's partly due to growing up where "you lose" is the name of the game. Getting your needs met is completely hopeless with N parents, so perhaps that feeling of hopelessness extends to all of life. Plus, hopelessness is a classic symptom of depression. If you feel hopeless, just know that it doesn't mean it's true. Feelings are NOT facts.

    Aside from my other recommendations, I would continue to come here and post and read all that you can read. Claw your way out of this bullshit if you have to. Journaling helps. Get a secure journal NO ONE ELSE will read and just free flow write your thoughts down. If you're feeling terrible, give your feelings a voice. It's like draining the poison from you. Plus if you're doing the work out of Feeling Good, you'll need a good journal to write in daily. My first therapist recommended this for YEARS and I never did it, but I tell it just free flow writing out shit does seem to help tremendously. If you have a Mac, you can use MacJournal, or for Windows there is "The Journal", both of which you can encrypt and password protect. If you want to just write on paper or if you already do just make sure you hide it well.

    The other night I had a bout of terrible depression and you would not BELIEVE the shit that I wrote down about myself ("you're a piece of shit!!!" and stuff like that). I wrote until I just felt "deflated", like I had drained myself. It helped a LOT. I then realized that I hadn't been doing several things for myself that I know have helped in the past, and I have rededicated myself to doing these things daily. Many of these actions I have recommended to you here.

    Hope this helps even in the slightest and good luck to you.
u/RuthCarter · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I'm so sorry. I've learned that it's hard to say "no" to the Ns in my life but it gets easier with practice. When they tell you to do something, you can respond with "I'm sorry I can't; I have a prior engagement" and then say, "I have to go," and hang up the phone.

You may want to read The Gift of Fear. It's a great book that dissects the many ways people try to manipulate others. One of the best lessons I got from this book is "People who can't hear the word 'no' are trying to control you."

Good luck to you!

u/finally_safe_from_Ns · 15 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Yes. Everything that you described in your post sounds so similar to my life. The feeling of having escaped a cult is so intense, isn’t it?

Here are a couple of resources that have helped me significantly with my recovery. Sharing them in the hopes that they may help you, too:

Pete Walker also has a ton of really useful information on his website:
(this is, of course, talking about a mom narcissist instead of a dad narcissist, but the information still seems highly applicable.)

I believe that you are already through the worst part. Healing from narcissistic abuse is a long, gradual process… just keep honoring your true self, taking good care of yourself, and life will get better and better. Good luck!

u/prajna_upekkha · 4 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

this, my friend, grants a visit to r/CPTSD


You may wanna have a look at a book plenty of us are using to begin the healing journey:


CPTSD: From Surviving To Thriving, by Pete Walker.


Know that, among many other things, Walker explains on the book the tendencies toward 'faulty' behaviors (dysfunctional coping mechanisms) that people invariably follow. Obsessive-Compulsive tendency is one out of the 4 types (see 4F responses / coping mechanisms, for instance).


Have a look to ALL the bibliographies and book references you'll find on the CPTSD sub here on reddit (linked above); I believe most books there will provide help and understanding -and validation, one bit at a time.


Dig deep into all of it, slowly. You'll get an idea of what the next steps look like for you in your particular situation, history and context. And for any question you have regarding this, the folks on the CPTSD sub are awesome, honest fellows, who share their struggles openly, and as such we all benefit a lot from this little community.


Best luck.


u/nomorerainonmyparade · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I'm going to say a tentative yes, but it's still in progress. Once I moved away, I gave myself some serious advantage in that my nrents don't:

  • know where I live (they can send mail to a post office box address - they know what city I'm in)

  • have my actual phone numbers (they have a Google voice number)

  • have my husband's contact info (I am the sole point of contact after they gaslighted him)

  • know where I work

  • know the same people

    This was pretty difficult for a few reasons. I had to be careful not to send/call from a number I didn't want them to have. Because they resorted to contacting everyone they knew I was friends with and "casually" asking if they had contact info for me (usually mentioning that they hadn't heard from me for a while (aaaaaw, it's so sad they have such an awful kid!)), I had to keep most of my friends in the dark as well (in some cases, I wasn't super close with the people they were calling, and this was simply easier than explaining and answering questions). In other words, it required planning and vigilance to sustain. The only people they called were people who had their contact info out online.

    I've had some success with this, because putting that extra distance allows me a buffer space with time to process and think before responding to them. There were some hysterics when I didn't answer within 12-24 hours, which I ignored and had a laugh over.

    They came into town to visit last year and we had an awkward meal at a restaurant. That was all we did, because I didn't know how it would go. They wanted to come over and see where I lived but I told them it was such a mess. At the core, it's a control issue - they want you to react the same way you always have when they pull a string, so when you don't they try to restore their control. If you can stay one calm step ahead of them, you might be ok with SC provided you plan it out before hand. The key is not allowing them to push you into anything that you may not be able to handle.

    These books helped me prepare myself and find the hidden triggers:

    Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

    Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

u/RumCaviar · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Well it kinda of depends on how much effect she has had on you. Personally, I would not recommend going to any therapy with your mom until you have good groundwork for yourself established, because as an N, will have a hard time facing the truth about themselves and may hamper your healing. Also remember, she can only help herself and change if she wants to. You can not rescue her. And that's ok. It's perfectly fine.

Decide how much contact you want with the N. A phone call every now and then? Contact on facebook? No contact at all? How will you handle her wanting to see your daughter? Set some FLEXIBLE boundaries. What you think will work now, may not work 6 months from now. But establish them. Write them down and be firm. You should send it in an email/letter, so that there is no ground for immediate back and forth. Keep it short, don't give her any ammo, just tell her that because of her behavior, you will only be doing X with her for now. Be prepared for the backlash that is more than likely to follow. But stay strong, and know that there is support here if you need it.

Now you are over one hurdle. Now you should look at yourself. Therapy is great, if you can afford it. But there are other things out there. Sit down and think about your past, this part is going to suck. You are already part of the way there if you thought about the letter. Think about whether or not you have any fleas. Are there things you do because your mother did them? Since you have a daughter, I would recommend watching for these the most, because these will affect her growing up. When/if you come across them, write it down, make a list of how it made you feel when it happened to you. Make a list of what you feel like you should do instead. Consult it every now and then, having it written down will give you a base point to see how far you are coming.

I just got done reading Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. You can get it for less than $10 on Amazon. You may be able to get it at a Half Priced Books or some similar used book store. Get a pen so you can make notes. Read it. Read it again. The only thing I don't agree with is that it says something along the line of don't show any anger. Screw that. This is not your fault. You have the right to be angry. You don't necessarily have to express it to your mom. Write it down in a journal. Cry. Focus on the fact that you have a hard time with expressing your feelings. Know that it's ok, you are human, and worthy of emotion. Talk to a supportive friend. If you lack in the friend department because you have grown up with an N, talk to me. Make friends with someone on this sub. Talk to them.

Visit this page There's an image on there. Print it out and put it on your bathroom mirror. Read it every day when you are brushing your teeth.

Out of the Fog This is another forum dedicated to people dealing with this stuff, though you may be satisfied with RBN here.

Start there. You will start to heal, and find the things that work for you. Make time for yourself. When you feel like you have gotten better at something, find something new to address. Do it one by one. You will find underlying things that you maybe don't realize come from your N yet, but they will be there. You have already taken a huge step by confronting the N in your life, and walking away. You can heal and move forward. You are going to make it.

I'm not a therapist, but I am broke most of the time. This is how I approached my situation before I even understood that my mom was an N. I just knew that there was something not right with me. Everything was my fault. And while I have approached it for YEARS as it was my fault, I know now that it is not. But I have still removed some fleas this way. The book was good for me. I hope that you will find something that works in the this massive wall of text.

u/momentsofnicole · 9 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I lurk here for advice on how to deal with people in my life.
My atheist friend described us "Christian folk" (such a cute title) as bad with boundaries. It is very true.

The Boundaries book was really helpful to me and remains so.

When I mention my work in trying to build better boundaries, my Mom will say it sounds cold. 😔
Christians generally want to be loving to everyone and narcs can easily use that to manipulate.

Edit to add Amazon link Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
(I support World Vision with Amazon Smile)

u/springflinging · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Yes--I can identify although I am sure there are differences. Sorry to hear you are struggling. I have tried to find meaning and connection in relating to others. I run daily. I also try to eat healthily. I wish you the very best. I find alanon meetings helpful and addiction was a part of my family life history. Some friends swear by individual and group therapy as well as EMDR and/or EFT. Individual therapy helps me as do alanon/ACA or ACOA (Adult children of dysfunctional or alcoholic families) meetings

I had experienced a recent traumatic event that was associated with many difficult emotional flashbacks. I wish you the very best and please know you are not alone.

I have read Judith Herman's book, Trauma and Recovery, plus she discusses stages of recovery.

I find Peter Walker helpful.

Also The Body Keeps the Score by van der Kolk has been insightful.

Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises are on my to do list--sonner rather than later.

u/decelectric · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Sorry it's not so clear but great that you're aware of things though. There certainly is a lot of information around these days to help.
A couple good books that I stumbled on:

I found both of those at the local library too so might just do that. (There are others as well and probably mentioned on this reddit somewhere, but those are not a bad start)

u/dogsmakebestpeeps · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

It's a late response, so I'm not going to include my story, but I'm in pretty much the same boat.

I'm reading 'The Emotional Incest Syndrome: When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life' very slowly because it hits pretty close to home and I end up ruminating if I read too much at one time.

I also have this one on my bookshelf (well, under the mattress) that I haven't started yet, 'Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners' so I can't vouch for it yet.

Hopefully, one, or both, of these might help you out.

u/CassandraCubed · 213 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

That is a very fast and nasty escalation -- and one that could have put you in more danger of being attacked by someone else.

Please be sure to let your boss know about this right away. As you said, you can't prove it was her, but is is pretty likely that it was. It would be wise to change your schedule. Given that your boss has already had to report your Nmonster to the police, your boss will likely want to help you do that. It would also be good to get a picture of your Nmom to the appropriate security folks at work so that they know the miscreant when they see her.

Given this incident, you would be wise to consider getting more protections for yourself in place.

You may also find this book useful The Gift of Fear.

Please take this escalation seriously and get your protections in place. One of the things that happens with ACONs is that our "Normal Meters" get broken and / or seriously skewed by decades of mistreatment by our NParents. Your buddy is freaked out for a reason. The other posters here are scared for you for a reason. If your nmom has escalated this fast and this maliciously, things aren't likely to quiet down.

Sending hugs (if you want them).

Edit: word

u/merrickhalp · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I don't speak Swedish, but I have some books that helped me a lot. Your English seems pretty good, but I figured it would be most helpful to find you copies for your native language. I assume you have or can get a local library card? Some links:

The first two are by Alice Miller, a Swiss psychoanalyst. I have read both of these books in English and they have helped me immensely. The third link is a book that helped me a lot by an American Psychologist, Pete Miller. Unfortunately, I could only find it in English. It's about Complex PTSD and has a LOT of good info including info on how to treat yourself with more compassion, something ESSENTIAL in recovering from trauma.

PM me your email address and I can let you borrow Pete Walker's book (e-book) through Amazon Kindle. I can give you access for two weeks, although you may possibly have to make an account on (the American site).

u/SeaTurtlesCanFly · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I haven't read it. I just know that it is often recommended here by our users and I have 2 friends who found this book very useful.

If you want to learn more, read the Amazon reviews. There are 566 of them (415 of them are 5 stars - the highest rating, so a lot of people like it):

Of course, not every method is for every person. And, not every idea is great in a book. Sometimes it helps to filter out what feels wrong and focus on the parts of a book that seem truly helpful.

u/Koriandersalamander · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Just wanted to reach out and say you're not alone. I've been in the same situation since what feels like early childhood. Even once the fog lifted and I escaped my family of origin, I was still trapped in the same behavioral patterns I'd been taught, and so still attracting narcs; looking back at past friendships has been equally eye-opening and appalling. Working hard on myself atm via therapy and education to figure out how to stop this pattern - it's gotten easier, but I think it will always be a work in progress. Two things which helped the most so far:

  1. Learning not to ignore my own gut feelings telling me that something's off, and this person's actions don't match whatever they're claiming about themselves. Being rbn, we're taught literally from birth to doubt ourselves and accept manipulative and even abusive behavior and mindsets as if they were normal - and all so that our nparents' delusions could always be reinforced, and their behavior always excused; so their ego is always gratified, and they're never held accountable for their own actions. (For a lot of us, in fact, we were taught to believe their behavior was our fault, and their problems were our job to fix even as children, so we learned to always blame ourselves instead of placing the responsibility where it belonged.) But those gut feelings exist for a very good reason - even if we can't put the why of them into words, or even quite make sense of them to ourselves just yet, your gut is your most valuable early warning system. Respect it; it's trying to help. It's always a signal for us to step back, think critically, and ask some difficult questions.


  2. I had to learn to stop automatically blaming myself for being "so stupid" or "so spineless" or even "deserving" poor treatment; this is related to the above in re: accepting responsibility for others' behavior. Yes, we do need to be more assertive in protecting our boundaries - but everyone is solely accountable for their own choices, including narcs: you can't "make" anyone abuse you. That was always their own decision, it was never okay no matter what "reason" they gave, and we shouldn't accept the blame for their actions or feel guilty for "letting them" hurt us.

    There have been a lot of resources I've found which have also helped me immensely, so at the risk of being spammy, here are some links:

    Out of the Fog: (understanding the common behaviors in abusive personality disorders and staying sane despite them)

    Issendai's Down the Rabbithole: (understanding the dynamic of abusive parents and adult children, and why escaping them is not only justified but often the only way to heal)

    Pete Walker: (the symptoms of C-PTSD and strategies for managing them)

    The Karpman Drama Triangle: (the dynamics of the abuse cycle and how it often determines the 'role' we play in it)

    and two books:

    Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear:

    Nina W. Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed:

    As for the situation you outline here with this 'friend' and their texts? This is absolutely an attempt to manipulate you into feeling guilty, and so 'obligate' you to placate them - thereby feeding their ego. It's gross and inexcusable behavior, and I'm sorry it's a thing you were even exposed to, let alone have to deal with.

    Here's the good news, though: you don't owe this person anything. Literally nothing. They can shriek their entitled bullshit to the sky until they're blue in the face, and cry their little hearts out over what a victim they think they are for the rest of their lives, and it will change absolutely nothing about the fact that you are not responsible for fixing either their life or their emotions. Period, full stop, end of - and anyone who genuinely valued you as a person and any friendship you've built wouldn't try to treat it like some kind of leverage in order to force you to behave in a way that suits them. Normal, healthy humans don't view relationships as transactional, and they don't treat other people like vending machines, video game NPCs, or any other object that only exists to serve their needs and is obligated to give them whatever they want as long as they press certain buttons. Love is not ownership. Respect is not currency.

    So just keep doing what you're doing. Ignore them. Once they see that they're not getting the attention and soothing they're demanding, they'll move on to another source of supply - because that's all they've ever cared about in the first place. While you, knowing what they really are, can sever ties completely and spend your time with (not on - and certainly not for) people who aren't so broken that they believe they're entitled to abuse others in order to make themselves feel "loved enough".

    All best wishes to you. Stay strong. You deserve a life free from abuse, and filled with all the love, health, and happiness which should have always been yours. Hugs if you want them, and much <3.
u/licked_cupcake · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Can I recommend a truly awesome and amazing book? Stop Walking on Eggshells, by Paul Mason, and Randi Kreger. I can't even overstate how transformative this book is. It turns everything on its head about how you thought you were supposed to deal with this person. It's about how to reclaim your life/what to do when a loved one has BPD. It's amazing. If you are close to someone who has BPD, it's essential. I'm gushing because I just came out of a situation with someone with BPD and without the perspective in this book, I really would have been lost.

u/JustTheFatsMaam · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Not sure of your gender, but for other RBN women I always recommend Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers -- it won't fix all the problems, but it's a great place to start even just to validate your feelings and experiences and how damaging they are. The Mother/Daughter dynamic has its unique aspects, and I imagine in general it's tough on kids whose narcissistic parent is the same gender because they're even more likely to want to treat you as an extension or reflection of themselves as opposed to a separate and autonomous person.

I've found a lot of support in this community so far, I hope you will too.

u/bertrand- · 6 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I started my journey three years ago.

Personally, I went the route of total overkill of C-PTSD. Nothing left for chance. This included (and partially still includes) cognitive-behavioral therapy (check reframing, it's basically the same method used but in a bit different context in NLP), medication (in my case mirtazapine and bupropion, works on all three neurotransmitters at the same time as I have treatment-resistant depression), psychoeducation, meditation, gym, eating better, sleeping better and gaining confidence by forcing myself to socialize with people and having healthy relationships by getting to know social psychology. Last and definitely not least, the validation from this support group that has been this forum. Generally put, getting into the self-development hobby is hugely beneficial.

Of all the books that I have read, this has been immensely helpful. I think that if one had to read only one book of ever about C-PTSD, this is it. It just includes everything.

These have so far helped with generalized anxiety disorder, major depression and social anxiety. I feel overall less shame, guilt and fear in my life. I have a lot better self-esteem. I do still get triggered at times, but overall I feel a lot better compared how I was three years ago. When I look myself back years ago, I literally wonder how I could keep living with the thoughts and emotions I had on daily basis. I still though have a lot of work ahead. For example, alcoholism, depersonalization and derealization and perfectionism are things that I have not yet given enough consideration to work towards, as I don't yet feel ready to it. But everything has it's time and place.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

You might consider the fact that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care for others. We often have this integrated belief that we have to put others interests ahead of our own, as it has been so since our childhood. Treating it as an extra step for helping others can make it easier to let oneself to take care of themselves until one has self-esteem to take care of themselves for their own sake.

I think that maybe the worst aspect of being RBN is that people have hard time believing it and often this is internalized as such that we doubt ourselves about it constantly. It makes the recovery difficult as there is constant denial of the problem regardless of all the evidence one might have. I'm quite sure that we all who are now NC have gone through thoughts like "Hmm, was it really that bad?" which often leads to delegitimizing our own experience and at the worst case scenario, retaking contact back to abuser. It helps to write a letter for yourself in which you name all the reasons which led to the choice of NC/LC and read it when one has doubts. Often, those doubts dissipate and we may have a sigh of relief that we have made the right decision.

There is a book called C-PTSD: From surviving to thriving which deals with this aspect of self-denial and being a RBN in one of it's chapters. It's very enlightening and self-validating book overall. I think one may find it as free PDF online as well.

I hope that things will turn alright for you. Know that you are not alone with these thoughts.

u/oO0-__-0Oo · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

> Even when I do get out, I think about how I’ll always have trauma and carry it with me for the rest of my life from how she treated me.

sounds like you are "spinning"

You WILL always have the trauma as a part of your past. That is unavoidable. However, you will NOT necessarily have to "carry it" for the rest of your life. We are all extremely lucky that now, in this day and age, there is very good mental health therapy and resources available to recover, if not completely, then mostly or very well, from past trauma. But that can only come from your desire to do so, if you want. No one can force you to make you want to help yourself. Only you have the power to do that.

When you realize that you can empower yourself, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, then you will have hope and that hope can sustain you.

For now, it may just be a matter of toughing it out and having grit to bear through the bullshit. Remember that it's not your fault that your mother is treating you poorly and is so narcissistic. Establish and enforce healthy boundaries. Have empathy for YOURSELF.

here's an excellent book you can use in a very step-by-step way:

if you really read that carefully, take notes, and follow it's workbook-like directives, I believe you'll find it very helpful

u/abortiondrone · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

It's so absurd and if you aren't in therapy people just say you're not trying hard enough or don't really want to get better, like being a victim, etc. Fuck 'em. They have no idea what's going on or what it's like.


I love therapy books now, haha. I hated the idea of self help but these aren't selling anything, they're fairly clinical approaches and written by actual health professionals, not gurus or 'personalities.'


Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward


Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw


Healing the Incest Wound by Christine B. Courtois This one is pretty good but the language focuses heavily on father/daughter incest which is limiting, unfortunately.


The Tao of Fully Feeling by Pete Walker Don't let the full title mislead you, it's absolutely not about forgiving your parents, it's about learning to accept the shitty feelings that linger even after treatment.


Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker A life changing book, really. I'm particularly fond of Pete Walker because he is a therapist AND an abuse survivor himself so he's not just talking from the ivory tower, he's been through it and the compassion and empathy he has for other survivors is evident in his writing.

u/throwawaynation- · 4 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

> something about my E-mom makes me feel literally sick, like nauseous to my stomach.

There is a reason why our Gut is known as our second brain. Listen to your gut, it will never lie to you. There's a reason why you feel "sick to your stomach".

> maybe she is a covert N, the self-martyring type of N, who gets the N-supply through self-martyrdom

Your birth giver sounds like a covert N. it sounds like she uses the guise of "helping" to exert control and power over you. Also, I agree, it is a form of N-supply. N's need their egos fed and the best way is to get someone indebted to them or someone singing their praises.

> if she has ever agreed to do something with me, she will drop me like a hot potato the second literally anyone else comes and wants her attention.

because you aren't a person to your birth giver. you are an object she takes out to manipulate and play with. Have you ever seen a toddler play? the moment something better comes along, that toy is immediately dropped and discarded. that toy is you. It's a horrible reality, but N's are horrible people.

> She also walks into my room in the mornings, and wakes me up whenever she wants, like if I am sleeping in late, which is something I was only doing because it was the holidays. She will just knock and then open the door, she has no respect for my boundaries AT ALL.

I would suggest reading books about healthy boundaries and how to firmly establish them. If you want to take it a step furthur, I would suggest speaking to a competent mental health professional.

u/fluffylady · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

First of all, rent a P O box for 6 to 9 months at the closest US Post office & have all your mail sent to it and use it as your forwarding address. That way she can't "forget" , or just say she was concerned when she says it was "from the bank" or "from your school" and opens letters addressed to you.
Do not tell your parents that you are doing this. Also make sure all your accounts such as checking, savings and credit card are in your name only.

When she asks for information about bf, say that you do not know and suggest that she ask him directly. Be sure you let your bf know your new response just in case she actually decides to ask him.

As for wedding plans, say that he has not brought the subject up and that for now, the topic is not up for discussion. Repeat- Mom, I am not discussing that with you. Then either leave the room, change the subject, or let the silence hang in the air.

Edited to add: There is a book written in 1992 called Boundaries, by Townsend and Cloud that I think is pretty good & has some pretty good tips in it. It lightly "Christian" -

u/4starlight · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I’m coming into awareness of this N-parent thing later in life too. Tell them it doesn't work. Give the the number of days they can stay, if any. Be honest with what works for you and tell them and tell them they have to get a hotel if they desire to stay longer. And hold your ground. You owe them no explanation! This is the hard part to get -- but get it please. It will make your life easier.

The thing about N's is they want an explanation of why. Why--what ever it is because they want to minimize our thoughts, feelings, or correct our actions and tell us what they want it to be — because we must be in alignment with them, we are after all an extension of them. When my Nmom starts pumping me like this. I give her very little eye contact and don’t play the game she is baiting me with.

And the little 3 year old look is called the martyr, it is a classic N manipulation stance. Don’t fall for it.
What you can manage is what you can manage. PERIOD.

N”s know our buttons and push them. They thrive on drama, chaos and control - being on top of a relationship. Grudges come when boundaries are not respected. It is your internal anger that is screaming NO! And boundaries are absolutely ignored growing up in a N-household. Coming to this at this point in your life it is understandable you would have some grudges. There is a life time of behavior and violation that hasn’t and will never be acknowledge by the N. So don’t look for it there it will never come. That was a hard one for me to come too. I spend years on inner work while the little girl in my still wanted to be acknowledge and accepted. That is an inside job.

I sometimes think the flip polarity to an N parent is a life time of learning boundaries. I’ve found my Nmom still doesn’t like them but guess what they are there and it’s her problem to deal with them.
And weddings are loaded as it is. Throw a N in there and it’s can be a little dynamo! We just had an out of state wedding where my Nmom traveled with us. It was the best of times and the worst of times.

If you haven’t gotten counseling yourself you might want to. Dont’ know if I answered all your questions. ask again if there is something specific.

There are a lot of great books out there. A few that I’ve read that have been helpful.

The first one I read is Karyl McBride’]’s “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” She has a website.

The Object of my Affection is my Reflection

The Wizard of OZ

and another good link....

u/codingforcupcakes · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

reading about this can be really helpful - I highly, highly recommend this book: - in the meantime, hang in there, and just remember that just because one person, or even a few, think or say certain things about you, them feeling or thinking or saying those things doesn't make them true, and the way they treat you isn't fair simply because they feel entitled to treat you that way. internet hugs!

u/TotoroTomato · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

So, from all the other replies you know that therapy is highly recommended. It made a world of difference for me as well. I'd add that you should try to find a trauma specialist that is familiar with childhood emotional abuse and CPTSD.

However, I also know that you may not feel able or ready to pull the trigger on therapy for some time. You may think that what you went through still wasn't that bad, that you will be fine, that therapy is for people who can't hack it or are broken. Those things are not true, but you can only benefit from therapy when you are ready and want to heal further.

In the meantime, check out the book Complex PTSD: from surviving to thriving. My therapist recommended it to me and I found it really really helpful.

u/DancesWithFleas · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Excellent idea! Here are some resources that have been especially useful to me.


Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion

Practically Shameless: How Shadow Work Helped Me Find My Voice, My Path, and My Inner Gold

The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Experiential Programs
These two programs are similar in scope. They provide a supportive, accepting environment to help heal old wounds, break out of patterns that no longer serve you and find empowerment. I have both taken and staffed the Woman Within training weekend and so can personally recommend it as a valuable resource for ACONs.

Woman Within International

*The ManKind Project

u/little_plum · 7 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

It might benefit you to stop talking to him, to be honest. Evidently, he wasn't good boyfriend material, and it doesn't sound like he's any better at being a friend, or even a sane acquaintance.

Not to sound like an advertisement, but The Gift of Fear may be useful here.

And definitely keep a paper trail.

u/show_time_synergy · 14 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

I have recommended this book before, it's exactly what you're looking for.

When I first read it I was just blown away. It was like somebody had followed my family around and then written a book about us.

It has exercises to help you process and get over things. As the book helps you work through the exercises you'll find that your anger will hopefully diminish.

Good luck, and be good to yourself!

u/DontCallMeJen · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Hi, this is my first time posting in this group. First I want to say I’m sorry you feel this way and I have been there too.

Have you seen a therapist? I’ve been seeing a therapist and doing EMDR therapy since November and I can’t even tell you how much progress I’ve made in gaining self-esteem. Here is more info about EMDR if you are unfamiliar with it: EMDR Institute.

Another thing that greatly helped me were Pete Walker’s books, especially Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. His other book, the Tao of Fully Feeling is wonderful as well.

The other thing that’s helped me has been developing and sticking to a daily exercise routine, proper nutrition, sleep, and cutting out booze/addictive behaviors.

I know that may sound preachy, but adopting these self-care practices along with the therapy have completely changed my life.

If this all sounds overwhelming, just at least check out Complex PTSD .

I hope you can find something here to help you!

u/MissyRed · 7 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Unbelievable. What a child. My NMom also sometimes acts like my dad giving me fatherly love & attention is like some kind of threat/competition to her.

Have you read Stop Walking on Eggshells?

Your story sounds like a story right out of the book. Something like 30% of borderline personality disordered people are narcissists too. I've been figuring out a lot about my NMom by learning about BPD.

u/awkward_chrysalis · 8 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Wow your sister has like, problems & stuff.

For yourself I have a book suggestion: [The Gift of Fear] ( by Gavin de Becker. You may have to start treating the people in your life as though they are dangerous - even if not physically.

There's no way to win when you're dealing with people like this. The only long term solution is to reduce contact, preferably down to zero. They'll pitch bitch fits while you're doing this, and they'll try to draw upon the programming they taught you - self-sacrifice and family loyalty, etc.

At this point, whatever you've invested in your family and what ever they've invested in you is a sunk cost. It's done, it's over, move on. Your bills are your bills, etc, lock down your credit accounts in case they start coming after you fraudulently.

Your sister though. Well I think you got two options here...

  1. Feed the rumor mill until it jams. (I got this expression from another book.) I think I saw articles about how to do this on Lifehacker & Gawker. Basically you start seeding your social media and online presence with fake information. Gradually. Don't lock it down right away. Just start integrating "New" interests you're not really interested in. The end goal is to get your sister to stalk a Construct or a decoy while you go off somewhere else. If that decoy gradually stops making updates then that's called a Slow Fade.

  2. Cut contact from her and the rest of your family. Is there anything good about them anymore? Again, sunk costs. Don't worry abor what they used to do worry about what they are currently doing. If they are dragging you down, I can't imagine they'll ever ease up.
u/DrunkenGamer67 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

It's really hard to recover from this kind of upbringing, but it can be managed. Originally I typed "done" rather than "managed", but you're never really "done". You have to work at it until whatever coping mechanisms you develop become almost as second nature as the anger. That being said, without medication, anger is almost always faster than my best self management tactic. Then of course you have to deal with the stigma of needing medication.

You almost have to think of yourself as a phoenix, a new you slowly emerging from a pile of ashes. The constant mindfulness of one's mental state is exhausting and frustrating in of itself.

Here's a couple of resources I found helpful:


This one is for daughters of narcissistic women, but I'd imagine some of the relationship dynamics are the same for sons as well. Maybe you'll find some other books more suited to you.

I wish you luck, personal fulfillment, economic prosperity and a healed spirit.

u/tyrannosaurusflax · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Pete Walker's book on CPTSD is really good, I highly recommend it. Good luck on your journey with this.

u/Pixel852 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Hey there, I'm sorry you're going through this. Lots of people here understand exactly how you're feeling and it is so, so hard.

I often feel the same about my boyfriend's family - he was given a lot of unconditional love by his parents and still receives this now. It breaks my heart to see it and realise how alien it is to me and how emotionally deprived my childhood and much of my adult life was.

I just wanted to let you know about a book I read earlier this year that helped me enormously, it may help you too and is obviously a lot cheaper than therapy! It actually recommends in part of the book choosing a doll or similar to talk as part of a process of healing your inner child.

I've linked the book here:

u/Gu3rr1lla · 4 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Parents are responsible for their childrens behavior. This could be a blind spot preventing you from holding your own parents accountable. If you can't emotionally understand this you wont logically understand this following argument.

If a parent needs to get their children to do something or not to do something out of fear of punishment then it's not a relationship. It's dictatorship and you'll never get respect or compliance from your children when you act like you know what's best for them - and this is the reason why abuse escalates.

It's the parents responsibility to teach their children right and wrong by talking and listening to them, helping them understand, and ultimately modelling that behaviour themselves.

Before you have children, it's important to work on yourself because everything you experienced as a child from abusive parents thats lingering in your unconscious will come to the surface when you have your own children.

It seems you area already projecting some of this by thinking experimentation like smoking in the room or lying about homework is bad. Wouldn't it be better to foster a relationship where your children can you tell they tried a cigarette or don't want to do their homework? That way you can actually be involved in their lives.

If you raise your children correctly I wouldn't worry about most bad activities because you'll give them the skills to know better. The science shows that addictions, victim of bullying and peer pressure are all caused by child abuse and an unstable home. If you want to know more about this look up Gabor Mate (I have more resources).

Actually as children get older they become easier to parent when you raise them peacefully and being involved because you have built up a relationship.

Here are books I'd recommend:
Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain

The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self[2]

For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence[3]

Stefan Molyneux: Real-Time Relationships: The Logic of Love

On Truth: The Tyranny of Illusion

Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication

Playful Parenting

Unconditional Parenting

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

Parent Effectiveness Training

The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life

What's Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life

Becoming the Kind Father: A Son's Journey

Connection Parenting

u/dmcindc · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

This book has been the one that helped me see things more clearly the most. Because there's always degrees to mental illnesses, and not every person with BPD or NPD will fit perfectly into one category. Understanding the behaviors overall and that there can be a range to them, and that a person can sometimes fit into two categories or swing back and forth, makes things a lot clearer. It did for me at least.

Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

u/Brandchan · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Here are two things that helped me a lot:

  1. Coming to understand my Mother will never be the Mother I want her to be.

  2. Stopped giving a fuck. Really, not about everything but I used to be super paranoid about what people thought about me. I decided it wasn't worth my time and I should do what I want to do with my life.

    These are not easy things to come to, I fully understand that. As many people have said go see a therapist. The one I saw in college was a huge help to me at the time. I was able to come to these realizations, and start making changes. It took a few years to get where I wanted as I still lived with my parents but I feel in control of my life now.

    I'd also recomend checking out Toxic Parents. My therapist had recomended this book many times but I wasn't big on self-help books. But one day I bit the bullet and read it and it was an important experience for me.
u/Mormolyke · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers - this book was really helpful for me and a friend I lent it to with similar issues.

u/nagur8 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists


I strongly recommend this article:

His book is also enlightening and very soothing and healing, although it can be hard to read and triggering, of course.

I know from experience it's terrifying when you flashback. For me it happens for instance when I get hurt, for a silly thing, like getting hit in the knee with a table. When this happens, I deeply feel that I'm not allowed to complain, and I feel so damn lonely... It's horrible. I don't have any conscious memories about this, but I'm 100% sure it is a flashback of some kind.

Hope this helps!

u/ThingsArentThatBad · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

First off; shit, man. I'm sorry to hear you went through all that. It sucks and it was not at all okay of your mom to do those things.

I would caution you that what your mom taught you is probably not healthy love. It might be love she likes you to demonstrate, which is probably enmeshed as hell and permits her to trample your boundaries effortlessly.

I mean, you describe the situation as her being only apparently mature as long as you didn't assert your boundaries. That's the opposite of maturity. That's the textbook definition of emotional immaturity. It does not suggest that she was able to model, understand, or explain the love of two whole, independent, self-sufficient people coming together and building each other up and being built up. It suggests she might have taught you that love involves being a doormat. That's what my parents taught me- relationships are pain only slightly better than being alone and lonely forever. Could be I'm reading too much into your situation.

>Any suggestions would be great!

I would suggest therapy, if you're not getting it already. I would also suggest a couple of books. I found this one to be tremendously helpful.

u/elephino1 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

If you enjoy learning from reading, this book helped me more than any other thing in overcoming what you described in your post.

Good luck.

u/IAmBaconsaur · 56 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Hey, so I have a similar story. My family was a picture perfect middle class home with two parents and three kids. We were good kids who got good grades. I thought we were normal. Everyone envied the house I grew up in and my stay-at-home-mom.

Now when I tell them my parents are divorced and I haven't spoken to my mother in nearly 4 years (shit does time fly) I mostly get double takes. Narcs are SO GOOD at appearances and manipulations it's scary. I really want to emphasize that you are a victim here, your feelings of guilt are because you're a human with feelings who feels bad. Unlike a Narc who only cares about themselves.

If I read your post correctly, you're female. So I highly recommend the book "Will I Ever Be Good Enough: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers" by Karyl McBride. It really helped me when I was starting to escape the FOG. I read everything I could get my hands on, there are great resources in the sidebar of this sub. Out of the Fog is a great website, very informative.

Personally, my mother is actually diagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder with features of Borderline Personality and reading up on those was immensely helpful in understanding her behaviors. I have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and attachment disorder. I really recommend you find a counselor who specializes in this kind of thing; mine helped me through a lot of the mess in sorting out feelings from reality and rewiring my brain to not cope, but live.

u/halfahipster · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Okay, so this is harder than I thought because I've not read any NParent-specific books. The best book I ever read was "Splitting," which is a guide to divorce from an NPD/BPD. Incredibly helpful; it explained WHY the N acted the way they do as well as the behavior to use to combat it.

It's by two authors: one focuses on legal/business fights with NPDs (not helpful) and the other is an expert on BPD. Even though this book is for BPD, I wonder if it would help, since many of the coping mechanisms are similar.

u/AMerrickanGirl · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Read the book "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?".

And you can't "make" someone else happy if they're incapable of happiness. It's an impossible task.

u/Lordica · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Fill your weekends. If you have to study, do it at a library. Treat her as you would a stranger, cordially; but with distance. It's tough dealing with a toxic mother. You want to find that magic switch to make her into a warm and loving mommy. There isn't one. All you can do is insulate yourself from the harm they can do. There are lots of good books on the sidebar, this one changed my life.

u/skippedrecord · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

First off, not that long by RBN post standards. Second, I can't really tell you if your mom is an N, no one on the internet really can. But I can point out a few things that are red flags:

  • An adult 'being hurt' be the actions of a child. Not even a teenager, but 'very young'?
  • Yelling, that's not an acceptable way to talk to anyone.
  • Showing up unannounced, this disrespects your boundaries and those of your children and in-laws.
  • Blaming your husband for the relationship issues between her and you.
  • Texting posing as your father
  • Your husband has noticed that your behaviour has shifted during a period of no contact. (this means your kids have probably noticed too fyi)

    Many of these are N tactics, if you read about RBN a bit you'll start to see them as reoccurring patterns. BUT again, no one can tell you if your mom is an N or something else.

    My advice is to start seeing a therapist, you need someone to talk this through and putting it all on your husband isn't great for you, him or your marriage. A therapist can give you clarity about your mom's behaviour (it's unethical to diagnose someone without meeting them so don't expect a formal diagnose for your mom). Lastly, if your mom is an N there is a good possibility you have FLEAS that you could pass down to your kids, you'll need help getting rid of them fast.

    Good luck and be kind to yourself.

    edit: This is an amazing book, you'll see it recommended here a lot.
u/Crystal_Charmer · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Affirmations are generally not enough, and often feels like more gaslighting for PTSD in my experience, you will need to go deeper, the inner critic is relentless, but it can be tamed, it will take some time and patience- This book can probably orient you better on your path, along with continuing to learn about all that you have experienced, and integrating/processing all of your experiences, you can't really think your way out of this, understanding is key, feeling is important-

u/terminallypreppy · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

I am so sorry for you, i send you hugs from afar. I too have narc parents. May i suggest a book that may help -

"The body keeps the score" by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Here is a link from amazon, so you can read the reviews -


u/lcoursey · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Boundaries - This is the book that finally put me at ease after cutting off my nmom. Her lack of respect for (and my complete lack of understanding of) boundaries is what let her keep her hold over me. Once I understood what healthy boundaries were and how much I should expect my own wishes to be respected then I was able to move forward.

u/Briguvnuh · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Narcissism exists on a spectrum. To have no narcissistic qualities would indicate a lack of desire to live, since some self interest is necessary to survival, though not a lot. You can have narcissistic features and be a long shot from qualifying as narcissistic.

You are terrified of hurting other people like your dad hurt you, to the point of ignoring your own needs and apologizing for having your own interests. This is not a sign you are a narcissist. It is a sign you have a deep injury from your father and need healing.

Many of us form new relationships that are based off the most harmful parental relationship we have, with problems mirroring those unsolved problems from our past. I would suggest you take a deep, long look. Is this boyfriend really good for you? Or are you playing out the unresolved traumas from the past?

I know you say it is your father who is the one with narcissism from your parents, but a book I can really recommend is Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Written for daughters with nmothers. It is powerfully worded and can be reassuring for those of us struggling with what you are struggling with. You are not your narc parent. I don't want to minimize any of your emotions because I don't want to limit any growth you have to do proffer you false reassurances, either, but just the fact that you fear becoming like him is a good sign you aren't, and that you won't. Just keep moving forward in the same direction.

u/chuckiestealady · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I'd like you to read a book called [The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk] (

I never really understood my PTSD until I read this book. I highlighted so many passages which enlightened me beyond what I thought possible. One thing I've struggled with is my Nmum being so dismissive of respect for me. With my therapist I plan on doing the Family Systems therapy he explains in chapter 17 in which you can revisit times your family let you down to say what you couldn't say then. It's mind-blowing.

u/thefuchsiaisnow · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

I really liked The Everything Guide to NPD just to give me an idea of what the whole thing was, plus books about emotional incest. That topic focuses a lot on boundary issues, which was a big problem in my family. The ones I've found useful are The Emotional Incest Syndrome and Silently Seduced. These three books were all recommended by my therapist, but if you have one, he or she could probably recommend others!

u/not-moses · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Psychiatrists are mostly medication prescribers now. And college counselors (with bachelor's -- not master's) degrees are usually very limited skills- and concepts-wise. I will suggest looking into the following books for the concepts, as well as some of the coping skills (and then see further below for more).

Nina Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

Eleanor Payson's The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Lindsay Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Elan Golomb's Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in the Struggle for Self

Susan Forward's Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (a bit long in tooth now, but still useful) and Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Kimberlee Roth & Frieda Friedman's Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem

(I've read -- actually deeply studied, using each as a workbook -- all of them, and feel comfortable recommending them.)

For the continuing upshots of having been raised by such parents, I currently use Ogden's SP4T as the 9th of the 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing, but had good results over the years with EMDR, DBT, MBCT, ACT and MBSR. The 10 StEPs, DBT, MBCT and ACT are combinations of CBT with experiential, more-or-less "insight meditation" techniques. SP4T, MBSR and EMDR are more directly experiential and less cognitive (or "about thinking").

u/Daleth2 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

See if you can find this book at your library, or if not order it. Multiple people have told me it saved their lives. I gave it to a friend who was divorcing an abuser. It's amazing, and it has a lot of very practical tips on what to do:

u/Cassasaurus · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

This isn’t the greatest book I’ve ever read, it can be cheesy at times but this dude has been there and it helped me stop and think about my negative thought patterns and why I was so hard on myself. It is full of insight, but you have to pick and choose which parts work for you. It’s evidently available in pdf for like $3 if you’re interested. My therapist has recommended it to others, if you want a professional endorsement. Don’t give up on yourself, you are so much more than you believe, so much more than your parents made you think you are.

u/lilacabkins · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

For sure! My therapist says that it makes all the difference. Suddenly, the narc’s actions aren’t happening to you - they become something you observe, moving away from “personal” to “objective”. I also read a book where that advised making all your interactions transactional. Go into conversation with a clear goal or outcome. This was the book: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. If you live with your nmom, just buy a kindle or digital copy ;)

u/lookaspacellama · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

You might be interested in the book The Drama of the Gifted Child. Alice Miller is a psychologist who also had nparents, and she explains from her research that children of nparents often have extra reserves of sympathy and being sensitive, because they are trained to anticipate and fulfill their nparents' needs. A whole section is dedicated to the emptiness we feel once we realize that void it creates. (She explains it way better than I do.)

From what I remember, she doesn't go so far as to say that you are more likely to do the things that you list. I think we are more likely to have anxiety and depression as well as numb our feelings (since we didn't have a safe space to share them). But I'd be hesitant to just say it without any research to back it up. I know I'm only one person but I did really well in school, because it was a distraction and it fit into the 'golden child' persona that was expected of me.

u/brandonwandon · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

So I just bought this book:

From what I've read, it's really good. She is going to start reading it tonight. Let's see if that helps with the everything on my wife's end.

u/harasar · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I think you may have accidentallied the link to Walker's book. Did you mean this one? Big fan of that book too. It was extremely helpful to me.

u/bunnylover726 · 4 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Toxic Parents by Susan Forward is good: It's an old enough book that I actually got my copy off the shelf at a used book store for like $5.

u/FinallyForMe · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

GC - Golden Child - the favorite,"faired haired child", etc. Gets rewarded and praised and spoiled, usually to punish the SG. Also most likely to be an enabler for the abuser.

SG - Scapegoat. Everything is blamed on them, they're the focus of abuse by the whole family. They can't do anything right, are treated like criminals, and are often excluded from the family as punishment.

FLEAS - narcissist-like behavior, usually learned from years of living with a narcissist.

I don't recall an official list of acronyms, but those 3 are the big ones you'll run into here - there's a couple more, like Lost Child, which are often the youngest child who's simply ignored in the family. You might also see simple ones, like "Ndad", which just means Narcissist Dad, or Emom, which is "Enabler Mom".

This group uses the same terminology from many of the support groups that focus on abuse, dysfunction, and enabling, so you can dive into further reading by focusing on those issues, even if the book or material is approaching it from an addiction point of view, like the ACA groups and material (Adult Children Of Addicts/Alcoholics.)

The book I like to recommend is this one:


And there are many, many, many more out there! I think you'll have the same experience most of us do the first time we read books like that - "I'm not alone! It's not me that's crazy - it's THEM!" :)

u/invisiblemonster_ · 7 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

This may not 100% apply, but this book really helped me.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride

u/superlungssupergirl · 57 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Omg. That’s hilarious. Ahh it would be so great if you could counter with another prominently displayed book with an accusatory title.

Something like this maybe?

u/Cromage · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

This book was rec'd here a while ago, and it goes into a great deal of detail on the how's and why's:

u/Nthrowawayy · 6 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

My Nmom is exactly like yours, and I have used Gray Rocking to my benefit. Lots of, "Mmm-hmmm" "I see" "Maybe" answers (and then do whatever it is my way). If she gives me the high-horse response or I'm completely done with the conversation I will start saying, "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "I said I would think about it".

Your (and my) Nmom never cares to think what's on our minds because they know it all, and they know better than us. Our opinion doesn't matter, because we're wrong (from their point of view).

I'd like to suggest a book called Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life, by Susan Forward. One (maybe more than one, I can't remember) of her patient stories talks specifically about dealing with parents like ours.

u/CatLadyAM · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I have anxiety also, and therapy did help. A book my therapist recommended that helped me was this one:

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

N parents bring out your worst fears and worries about every action you take. It really drilled me into trying to be perfect or concerned about every choice and spoken word. After awhile it becomes a passive, but constantly “on” state of fight or flight. Relearning how to process your thoughts and be in the present is difficult, but it’s possible.

Another book that helped me:

The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution

I am not perfect, but these tools helped me deal with the situation and understand myself and my N mom better.

Wish you the best. 🤞

u/Aperture_Kubi · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

> There is a fantastic book by Pete Walker about C-PTSD

This one?

u/nmfiamlov · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

this one is a true life saver:

i read it and it is a very clear read. i read it and have been no contact now so i haven't actually tried out the techniques.

u/milkmaid666 · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this. I have had really similar struggles, and there are two resources that have helped me a ton along the way:

  1. Pete Walker

    I also highly recommend his book:

  2. Pavel Somov

    I am rooting for you and sending you good vibes for recovery – you can do it!
u/kreiswichsen · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

You are falling into your own narcissistic tendencies by trying to play hero for your brother. Very, very unhealthy behavior exhibited by all parties here.

u/yellowpinkpurple · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

I started reading this book after I wrote that comment, and I'm finding it enormously helpful, maybe you would, too:

u/CupsBreak · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I can't help with much, but I can suggest this book, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists. I actually got it because an excerpt I read sounded like an ex of mine and I wanted to know more, ended up reading about my childhood. Give it a shot?

u/StormySands · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

A book that really helped me is Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Dr. Karyl McBride. This book really breaks it down and gets to the bottom of a lot of our issues, then gives practical exercises you can do to work through them.

u/beatleboop · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Just a headsup - This is the 1980's/1990's version. There's a revised edition that takes into account current practices in psychology (2007ish). I'd recommend going for a paperback (many of the used editions are only $6 total), and it gives a much clearer understanding of the topic.

u/milehigh73 · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Impossible to say based off of this.

But try this book -

has some quizes in it that might be able to help.

u/SoN-acct · 7 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Have a look at Will I Ever Be Enough. It helped me sort out a lot of the stuff I was missing from my parents. Not an easy thing though, but it helps.

The subtitle is about daughters, but I don't remember anything specifically gendered in it.

u/nawal86 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Written by an ACON:

Fluffy but useful:

Implementation details:

Together, the above have helped me establish that a lot of my behaviour and painful experiences until the recent past were essentially the fight-or-flight system being triggered by stimuli related to fear conditioning. The painful memories are indelible, but the cortex can train the amygdala to "hold-your-fire" enough of the time that life can be enjoyable and rewarding, even though there will still be times when the cortex is too tired/weak to keep things under total control - but even then, it's possible to "just sit with the pain" and accept it, rather than try to avoid it and cause more problems. Good luck!

u/deb1961 · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I'm going to add Will I Ever Be Good Enough.

I read Co-Dependent no more because of my father's recommendation years ago. It really helped me learn how to deal with the alcoholics in my life (NMom and my ex-husband) while learning to stop my own enabling behaviors. I think OP & her father would benefit reading this.

u/UrbanCowgirl79 · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

Well, she trained you since birth to be her enabler. It's not your fault. You figured it out now, and that's what's important. I guarantee you if she'd found an LTR when you were a kid, that person would have only been an enabler, but her head enabler. Less of the emotional labor would have fallen on you but it wouldn't have made you mother any more functional or emotionally healthy.

I haven't read this book, I've only read about this book, Understanding the Borderline Mother. Sorry for the shitty quality of this site but it's the best explanation I found of the 4 "types" discussed in the book. The Witch, the Queen, the Waif, the Hermit, although a person can be more than 1 type. It sounds like your mother, if you think she may also have BPD, is definitely "the waif".

My mother, from my experience with her, has enough of the symptoms on the list of narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder to be classified as both. Per that book's types, she's a witch & hermit.

Also, there's a drama series from American premium cable in the early 00's called "Six Feet Under" about what is obviously a Waif BPD mother and her 3 adult children. You may like that one if you haven't seen it, or want to re-watch. Your description of your mother made me think of that show.

u/entropys_child · 10 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Yes. Read this

”When I used the word 'gifted' in the title, ... I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb…"

u/alksdurr · 13 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

At the end of the day, you can’t help people that don’t want to help themselves. I would suggest having a dedicated conversation regarding this. Lay out all of your concerns, and back it up with texts/resources. Some are available through this sub. I also highly recommend this book.

Talk with her about it calmly and respectfully. Let her know what is non-negotiable for you. Do you even want any interaction with her mother? Are you worried that she’ll attempt to financially abuse you too, via your gf?

Cover your ass. I would say that if gf does remotely anything to help/assist/enable her Nmom to abuse you too should be the bare minimum line that can’t be crossed.

u/scoutthelyoness · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Oh my- the details of your conversation were straight out of my Nmom's playbook. This summer I cut her off for good and I've never felt so free in my life. When I was trying to go from VLC to NC, she did the exact same thing- trying to act like the stuff coming out (things from childhood) were out of the blue, but they aren't, because we carry these things with us every damned day. Minimizing your pain is a narc manipulation tactic. Be free, and cut them off for good.

Additionally, the book "Healing for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers" was life changing. I highly recommend it-

u/pixe1jugg1er · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I highly recommend the book 'Running on Empty' by Jonice Webb. It's helped me fill the void... And understand the void.

Sorry for the sloppy link... On mobile.

u/map_backwards · 3 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I just started this one as it was reco'd either from an older post in this sub or a video I watched online. Sorry I can't recall, been on information overload lately. It has a chapter, chapter 5 to be exact, that was reassuring to me because it addresses the "others had it worse" mentality - titled: What If I Was Never Hit.


Author: Pete Walker

I have it on kindle, but I kinda wish I ordered a physical copy.

u/LetsKeepItSFW · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

You got me thinking...

One of the most famous books about coping with a family member with Borderline Personality Disorder, which your mom is definitely a candidate for, is actually called Stop Walking on Eggshells. Maybe this could offer you some guidance.

u/QuillofNumenor · 6 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Get yourself a copy of this book.

And this one.

They will change your life.