How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Part One of a Four-Part Series)

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This is the first of a four-part series by One Angry Daughter, who shares her experience and resources for Adult Children of Narcissists on her blog, One Angry Daughter

Turning Point

I was weeks shy from the birth of my first child, when I found myself in the office of a therapist.  On the eve of motherhood, I was a daughter looking for a way to repair a degenerating relationship with my own mother.

I’ll never forget the way I started explaining my mom to her.  It was with an excuse – “Mom, well, Mom has had it so hard recently, well really even longer than that.  I don’t set out to upset her so much and I really think I am making the best choices.  I don’t understand why she thinks everything I do is so wrong.”

I began by describing the tantrum Mom had at our baby party a week before because my husband and I decided to wait to open gifts till after the festivities.  She launched all of her emotional weapons in her arsenal at me in less than an hour: anger, disappointment, tears, but I did not budge.  She told my young nieces to ask me when we would be opening gifts thinking I couldn’t possibly say ‘no’ to them.  As hard as it was, I still said ‘no.’ Finally, as the party wound down, she suddenly spun on her heels and marched out the front door without saying good-bye.

Normally this would signal the start of an ignoring phase – one in which I would call in a few days to smooth things over.  It seemed we would encounter these standoffs at any major decision point in my life – like going to college, getting married, where we decided to buy a house or what we decided to name our child.  It seemed any choice I made without her direction and blessing would displease her.  I felt like my loyalty was being pulled between seeking my mother’s approval and having the freedom to make my own life choices.

This time was different.  I began to realize I had done nothing to warrant her angry behavior towards me. All my life, I sought the unconditional acceptance of my mother – knowledge that no matter what I did, she would still be there for me.  My mother could not accept me, she couldn’t even accept herself.

The day I grew up was the day I realized that the only acceptance that mattered was mine of my life, my standards, and my genuine reality.

The Full Four-Part Series:

Part 1 – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter
Part 2 – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter
Part 3 - How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter
Part 4 - How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter

Extras:

Recommended Books – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Defined in the DSM.

Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    I just found your site and I am so grateful for it. The scenario above could have been taken directly from my own life. I am at the same realization point, I have done nothing to warrant my mother’s most recent outburst and it is not my job to smooth things over with her. My usual pattern is she gets angry, she yells & screams, she tells me to stop talking to her, I wait a few days and call her, we are back to “normal.” There are no apologies and nothing changes. I’m just so very tired of it.

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  5. [...] Part 1 – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter Part 2 – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter Part 3 – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter Part 4 – How to Break Free from a Parent’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by OneAngryDaughter [...]

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  7. Debbie k says:

    I can’t believe I found this website!! I’m so grateful!! I thought you were reading my mail!! This is exactly me.. I have been the one taking guilt and anxiety with this mother for years!! She is now on anti psychotic meds and she is still pitting my daughters against me!! Guilt guilt and more guilt is what she does,, she. Has been my abuser and my rescuer and I have struggled thinking there is something wrong with me!!! I thought I was crazy but now I go to therapy and have a support from husband and friends!! But I didn’t break away soon enough because she was the bigger than life grandma to them!!! I just want to be free of her!!!

    • Amy Eden says:

      I’m so glad you found what you needed!
      I’m sorry you’re not getting fair, honest, and loving treatment from your mom. That’s not fair. And it’s so disappointing when the person in the role of mother fails to nurture and love us with respect – fails to lift us up. I know how disappointing that is.

      Do you know about the book Toxic Mom Toolkit? It’s by Rayne Wolffe. It’s very good, very practical, and might hit the spot if you’re struggling with these issues.
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Toxic-Mom-Toolkit/207437159291713
      That’s her facebook page
      and here’s the website for Toxic Mom Toolkit -http://toxicmomtoolkit.com/about/

      There’s a lot you can do to de-tox from your dynamic with your mother. Put yourself first. You’ll be happier soon!
      Thanks for the comment!

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