It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Danu Morrigan has written a book!

I really had not planned to put any energy or time into dealing with Danu Morrigan/Tracy Culleton beyond the warning posted in “Beware these sites 1” (above). But something new has come upon the scene that compels me to devote both energy and time to her, her website, and her dreadful dreadfulness.

In February of 2010, while my father was dying in Oregon and I was laid up in bed with a broken foot in South Africa, just weeks after having been forced to move hundreds of miles from my home of six years, leaving my friends and the support they offer behind, Tracy Culleton (aka Danu Morrigan) banned me from the DoNM website with no explanation. This cut me off from the on-line support group that was virtually my only contact outside of my home, and two days later, my father died. Tracy was aware my father was dying as I had mentioned it in posts on the forum.

A few days before I was banned I had been chastised for putting up a “graphic” post in the “My Stories” section. My mother was a malignant NM and abusive physically as well as emotionally; my post was removed with the admonition that it might “trigger” someone, which I thought was odd—isn’t that what a support forum is for? To bring up old crap in a safe environment where we can help each other through it?

Shortly thereafter Tracy’s flying monkey “Light,” who (like Tracy) has no credentials on the subject other than an ability to Google, cut and paste, and then modify uncredited works by others to fit their own ideas, posted an article in which she claimed that if your parent physically abused you, she was not an N because Ns don’t do physical violence and therefore you do not belong in the forum. I knew better and I thought this was peculiar—and like it was pointed directly at me! I dismissed that as being paranoid but later was able to see that it was a manipulative bit of gaslighting…

A highly credentialed psychologist who was a member of the forum wrote a gently phrased contradiction to Light’s claim and she was almost immediately banned; I wrote to Tracy in support of the psychologist and Tracey wrote back saying I had a “good point” and she would discuss it with Light and get back to me. Later that day I was writing a new topic for the forum when it started acting sluggish. I logged out and logged back in, only to find I was banned. Neither the psychologist nor I were ever given a reason we were banned which, to both of us, smacked of the behaviour of our N mothers. Later, through contact with other women who stayed on the forum, the psychologist and I were to learn than Tracy and Michelle (Light) had labelled us narcissists and proudly claimed we had been routed out and kicked off the forum…another behaviour eerily reminiscent of a narcissistic parent’s blackening the name of the scapegoat child.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of women have joined this forum over the years it has been operating. Some have left voluntarily but many, many others have been summarily ejected without explanation or even warning. Every person I have spoken to or read about who experienced this was traumatized by it; for one person it was the last straw and she ended up hospitalized with a mental breakdown. For everyone who experienced this callous dismissal, this abrupt and unexplained rejection, it was a painful experience, many of us being thrust back into that whirling emotional maelstrom that was life with a narcissistic parent.

A few of us were either angry or upset enough to blog about it, to write about it, so seek other resources on line. Tracy eventually got wind of those of us who didn’t crawl quietly into holes to lick our wounds and decided to write a rebuttal to claims popping up all over the web that she and Light were narcissistic frauds. She put it on her site but, of course, provided no space or opportunity for those she maligned in her rebuttal to correct both subtle and overt untruths... no place for comments, good or bad. I thought about writing a rebuttal to her own when it first came out, but then decided there was enough information out there for an interested person who had access to Google and left it at that. Until yesterday when I discovered that “Danu Morrigan” had written a book and it is about to come out on Amazon 17 July and the book is entitled You’re Not Crazy—It’s Your Mother!

Now I am not taking any bets on where she got the information that will make up the basis of this book, but I am expecting that she will use anything that was published on her site by the users…and without the permission of the original writers. Those who left voluntarily may have taken their posts down, but Tracy’s husband owns the site and the portal (and the servers) that the site runs on, so you can bet that even if you removed your posts, there is a back up on those servers that she has easy access to. So much for privacy and confidentiality, eh? She has definitely put her “metaphor” for farming her clients to good use: we were all so much cattle from which she milked the material she needed to write the book…and many of us paid her for the privilege of spilling our guts into her word processor through PayPal donations, submission to her EFT blandishments and buying Amazon books through her site.

Over the next few posts I will be putting up Tracy’s rebuttal to accusations of abuse of forum members and I will be picking it apart with the truth. Whenever possible I will provide links to materials written by her victims telling of their banishments and how they felt. Because she is using private pain trustingly written in hopes of solace to line her own pockets, I am revisiting this emotional vampire on the main page here, and I encourage you to do your own research as well.


  1. Yes, Danu Morrigan's (aka Tracy Culleton's) book, You’re Not Crazy—It’s Your Mother!--should be out very soon. I hope one of the many banned members of the DoNM forum buys it, reads it, reports in about it to the rest of us, and maybe even passes it around to some of the many other banned members to read.

    I am not willing to buy this book myself. But I am curious to know more about its contents, and specifically to know how much of it will be material taken without permission, from ex-members of her very abusively moderated forum.

    1. Like you, I do not wish to put a single cent of MY money into HER pockets, but I do wish to know if she stole any of my story or the stories of my friends.

      But you know what? I doubt she did primarily because the women she banned did not fit the profile she wishes to exploit. I think the really vulnerable, enmeshed women who are her target population would feel honoured to be included in her book and if they weren't she would come up with enough reasons they should be that they would feel guilty for not being thrilled that they were chosen.

      I suspect the women she banned were already too strong for her to find useful.

    2. May I ask you who "Light" is? Is it the same as she who has "The Light House"?

    3. Before she started the website "" Light (or, more correctly, Michelle Ede) was an admin and partner of Danu (Tracy Culleton) in Tracy's site, Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

      So, yes, it is the same person. You might want to click the "Beware these Sites 2" tab on the main page of this blog and read that entry.

      Thank you for visiting.



    4. ps the woman's business title is MASSIVE MARKETING ACTION!Go figure.

  2. Crumbs! I am very glad I read the above, Violet. I came on looking for Danu's website after reading her Guardian article today and found your blog. My father is a narcissist and I have fought for my identity for years - thankfully able to say I've won the battle, but with the commensurate pain of loss of what I should have had. That struck me about Danu's article (and book maybe?) - how little she talked of the continuing pain which accompanies realisation of what happened. I'm not surprised then, though very saddened, that she polices her site in such a draconian way as you describe. I'm so sorry she treated you like that.

    1. Thank you so much for writing.

      Hopefully enough people will be forewarned about her that, if they decide to engage with her, they will at least know they are clasping a poisonous snake to their bosoms and not feel the kind of shock and devastation that so many others have experienced with being suddenly and inexplicably banned.

      If you google "Banned from DoNM" you will find other sites and blogs and stories from women who have experienced rejection from a women they trusted to help them process the terrible aftermath of being raised by a narcissist. I am sorry that you, too, had to go through the pain of a narcissitic parent--I am 65 years old and my NM has been dead for nearly 15 years and I am STILL finding and processing bits and pieces of the legacy she left with me.

      Please feel free to hang around the blog, read, comment, join. And thank you for writing.

  3. Like the previous blogger, I too read the Guardian article and went in search of the site. I am saddened by the hurt this woman has caused. I have not had contact with my parents in 9 years and hoped to find an outlet for the frustration we all feel. Thank you for the information and hopefully one day I will find a forum that actually cares.

    1. Sadly, the best forum for DoNMs, operated by Dr. Karyl McBride, was shut down a few years back as a direct result of "Danu"'s actions. She joined it and destroyed it--and she even obliquely admits it in her rebuttal to the accusations on the web. The members of that forum, having no place else to go, fled to "Danu"'s newly opened forum, at least one of them (Kate) taking a position as an admin in the new forum. I have had numerous private conversations with Kate (she is even one of my FB friends) and Kate saw the destruction of Dr. McBride's forum first hand and, not being an N herself, resigned from "Danu"'s forum when the truth about the woman became too blatant to ignore. Or, rather, she requested to have her membership terminated and was subsequently banned!

      Sadly, outside of joining a blog where we can discuss our NMs, there is little out there for support. There is a Facebook page for Adult Children of Narcissists (I belong to it) but it is not very active.

      If you can stand walking on eggshells with everything you say and are strong enough to resist the EFT hardsell, you may make some valuable friendships on "Danu"'s site. But I caution you--the administration can and DOES read the private messages, so my best advice is that if you make some good friendships with the women there, get their email addresses because if they (or you) are suddenly banned, it is the ONLY way you will be able to stay in touch with your supportive circle. That was the biggest tragedy for most of the banned women, the sudden ripping away of their support network and, because they trusted the operators of the site, they had not foreseen getting banned and losing contact, so they never got the private email addys.

      What kind of DoNM does that to vulnerable, hurting women? Only one who is a narcissist herself and has no empathy for those whom she so cruelly and summarily rejects.

      Please feel free to join this blog and comment as you please. I am here every day, as are many of the readers.

      And thank you for your visit and your comment.

  4. As the writer above states, I too saw The Guardian article today and was curious to know more about support groups and shared experiences. I'm so glad to have come upon the information you provide here. It's a shame legitimate forums are few and far between on this subject. The "divorce" was a shameful (if courageous) point in my life and sometimes I feel guilty about my decision -- although it was the only course of action I could possibly take.

    1. Guilt is part of the life of a DoNM: we are programmed to it by our NMs from earliest childhood. We are trained to put them first and to feel guilty when we look to our own needs ahead of their wants. Your guilt is learned, not genuine. It is part of the DoNM legacy.

      There are many resources on the web, including blogs like this one, that give tons of good information and have regular readers who post often, giving support to each other. There is also an Adults of Narcissistic Parents page on FaceBook with a supportive membership. Joanna Ashmun and Kathy Krajco have excellent writings available on the web, just google them. The only caution I give is, if you visit the sites listed in the "Beware these Sites" tabs on this blog, take everything you read with a grain of salt until you have independently confirmed what you read and KNOW that you are at the same kind of risk for gaslighting, banning, and character assassination that I and countless others have experienced. The relationships you can make with the other women can be valuable, but only you can determine if the risk you are taking is worth the reward.

      You are, of course, invited to join this blog and read and comment here. I will be adding more information on a fairly regular basis, with links when I have them.

      Thank you for writing and I am sorry you had to endure the kind of family that caused you to go NC. But please know, your guilt is misplaced--when you do something healthy for yourself, it is a good thing and something to be proud of. I am proud of you for your courage because so many of us go on being abused until we are broken by it. Good on you for getting out!



  5. I too read the Guardian article and am now very confused...It's opened up a lot for me and I don't know what best to do - to post there, or not....or who to trust, on what...

    1. Only you can make the right choice for yourself. The other women on that site can be very supportive but because you are at grave risk of being kicked out of the forum and banned without warning (or even knowing what you did that motivated site management to dump you), I urge caution if you join. If you make friendships with the other women, exchange private email addresses with them so that if you (or one of them) gets banned, you'll still be able to reach them.

      Here are some additional suggestions:

      Kathy Krajco and Joanne Ashmun have written extensively about narcissism in general and narcissistic mothers in particular. Both ladies are deceased, but their work remains on the web and I have found their insights and explanations to be invaluable.

      Sam Vaknin is a self-confessed narcissist who has decided to exploit his NPD by writing about it. He's a little hard to take but the insights you gain from reading straight "from the horse's mouth," at it were, are enlightening, to say the least!

      Some good books you might find are Dr. Karyl McBride's "Will I ever be good enough?" (she also has a website), Scott Peck's "People of the Lie" (I saw my mother on almost every page), and Dr. Susan Forward's "Toxic Parents."

      If you are on Facebook, look up Adult Children of Narcissists and ask to join. It is not a very active group but the members are supportive.

      Write--as you read this stuff and get your epiphanies (and you will!)--start writing. I recommend a Blogger blog like this one, set to private if you don't want anyone reading it. Record your discoveries, your feelings, vent all you want, cry, do whatever your heart tells you in the privacy of your blog. It is marvelously cathartic--the 46 Memories started out just this way and I kept them secret for more than five years before I realized that I could help more people than just myself.

      Google some key words: "Narcissist mother" "DoNM" "banned from DoNM" "abusive mother" etc. Lots of good info out there, but be careful of the two sites I have identified on the tabs. Also, if you come across some questionable sites, please let me know and I review them and perhaps add them to the "Beware" list.

      And join this blog, so you can receive notifications of updates and perhaps connect with others.

      And you can always email me.

      Thanks for your comment and I wish you the very best.

  6. I have just read the article now and have come onto the web to look for the forum...but found this first. The article brought up a lot for me. My mother is still alive, but we've not had any contact for over 12 years. I walked away after my father died 13 years ago. I left the country to be sure I never ran into her again. I'm not sure if she was a narcissist or not - I've never thought about her in this way. I know she has no sense of herself, and therefore the neglect and abuse I suffered at her hands was the same neglect and abuse she inflicted on herself out of a place of no belonging. I do see her story...and I see mine too....and I understand what makes us who we are. I live with the pain of it all every day of my life. Recently I've been thinking I need to heal this relationship. I realised how much I hate my mother and how much I've always hated her and I want to let this hate go. I'm not sure where to begin....and even in writing this I'm still not sure she fits the narcissist profile...I'll have to look it up to see what it is exactly.

    1. Narcissism is not the only possibility as a reason for your mother's abuse and neglect. She may have a different personality disorder, she may have no personality disorder at all.

      In your place I would do two things: research Cluster B Personality Disorders and see a therapist. I saw a therapist for five years and it literally saved my life and sanity.

      And please...keep in touch. Join the blog and read along as I research and elaborate on various aspects of having a personality-disordered mother. Check other blogs dedicated to the children of disordered mothers--the stories you read, the experiences the writers relate, may strike responsive chords in you that help you identify where your mother's abuse was coming from.

      But most of all, be well, be safe, and good luck!

  7. Dear Violet,

    Thank you so much for posting this. I came across Morrigan's website looking for information about my narcissistic mother-in-law, and I have to say I found it very informative, but now I'm aghast I even tried to join the forums. Thank god I didn't.

    Sincerely, an appalled woman

    1. The sad part about the "informative" nature of her site is that a good part of it is plagiarized (or at least it was back when I was a member) and then stolen material is "massaged" to alter the intent of the original authors and reflect the prejudices of the website's management.

      I discovered this two ways: first, they published an article saying if your NM was physically violent, she actually was not an N because Ns are never physically abusive. A psychologist who was a member of the forum disputed this and was banned as a result. I was banned for sticking up for her and because I had a physically abusive NM, therefore I did not belong there.

      After being banned, I went looking for more information and came across the very article that was plagiarized and altered...sadly, I failed to note the link and have not been able to find it again. But what I DID find was Joanna Ashmun's site (please Google it---you will find a WEALTH of information there) and as I read the articles, I kept having an eerie sense of deja vu--until I realized that some of the articles were almost verbatim copies of the stuff I read on the DoNM site. Then I did a little date checking and discovered that Ashmun was deceased (and therefore very unlikely to sue for copyright infringement) and that Ashmun published the articles well before the DoNM site.

      I have no problem with copying and embellishing the work of other people...I have a problem with passing it off as your own work. When I publish the work of others, I always provide a link to the original site, thereby providing attribution.

      If you want your eyes REALLY opened to the perfidy of this woman, google "Tracey Culleton" (her real name) and go read her dozen or so websites. If she isn't an N herself, she has the worst case of fleas on record!

      Cheers and thanks for writing


    2. Hi violet

      My Mother died two years ago but I still have days where its difficult to cope with her death. Everything was such a mess. I went through years of emotional trauma with the woman but everything went into meltdown when my aunt became terminally ill. My mother manipulated my relationship with my aunt in her last few months of life so much so that she stole the last precious weeks I should have had with my aunt.
      My mother had manipulated every relationship I ever had, but I didn't want to believe it. i wanted to hold on to her whatever the cost. But this last manipulation was one betrayal too far. I cut back the contact, but still thought one day i could mend it.
      In the next two years I had hate letters and emails and texts that threatened my emotional well being. It wasn't this first time, but unlike the previous occasion I couldn't let her back into my life. It was too much. Several panic attacks later, I cut all contact.
      Then I got a phonecall to say she had terminal cancer. She'd kept it to herself of course, had to have complete control until the last minute. One week later she was dead. I was reeling from shock.
      Not as much as when I discovered she's written a new will the same day as we buried my aunt and I wasn't in it.
      For two years she'd been calling round, writing to me, asking me why I wanted nothing to do with her, asking how we'd ever got to this stage and all the time she'd already written me out of her will!
      I really need to move on. I think I'm getting there. I guess it just takes time. But I'm just fed up with my life being full of her

    3. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, have you considered counselling or therapy?

      You have two issues to deal with at present: grief over your mother's death and the aftermath of having a narcissistic parent. My NM died about 15 years ago and, quite frankly, I did not mourn her death. I did, however, grieve for the loss of hope that one day she would wake up, see how much she had hurt me, and feel bad enough about it to try to make it right. No such luck...she lived and died a malignant narcissist, writing me out of the will and setting up a dynamic calculated to keep the chaos and dissention alive and festering for at least another generation.

      This is not something we can sort through ourselves, without help from others. Life with a narcissist is a confusing, convoluted, logic-free zone, a life in which we are subordinate to a crazy person who often maliciously assaults us without cause. It makes no sense and it hurts. And when they are gone, we often deal with grief at the loss of our hope that she will someday turn into a real mother, relief that the torment is over, and guilt for feeling glad she is gone.

      Moving on is the right thing to do, but sometimes tough on our own. A therapist specializing in dealing with the adult victims of childhood abuse might be just what you need to get that "moving on" well underway.

      Hugs and best of luck to you.


  8. After reading all of this I just can't help but wonder if someone can actually do all this things and just get away with it.
    I take it if you're warning people that means that these websites are still working.
    Can't the law make her pay for all she's done? Make sure she never owns a website again? (I know it was the husband but it doesn't make a difference). Fine her with an amount of money so big even a narcissist would regret hurting so much people. The last one wouldn't really help "heal" anyone but it would be reassuring to know that this people ultimately pay the price of their actions. Pardon my possible mistakes and thanks for your time if you read this comment.

    1. The law can't do anything unless she is actually breaking a law. She is based in Ireland and I know nothing of Irish law. The problem with the web in general is that it is kinda like the Old West--wide open and lawless. We just have to take a "caveat emptor" approach and stop being so gullible and believing everything we see in print.

      The woman is the worst kind of fraud, but as far as I know, she is not specifically breaking any laws, just bending them really hard. Just because something is legal, however, doesn't make it ethical and my experiences with her indicate to me that she is as devoid of ethics as she is of compassion and empathy.

      I guess we just have to count on karma...

      Hugs to you,


  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. I'm really upset by this. I stumbled across her site less than a year ago & having a name put to my pain was great. Now, I feel like I'll never goback there. My question is can anyone with any info or resources please contact me with them? I need to know soooo much more.

  11. Why is everyone anonymous?

  12. I got banned from th DoNM website and I am so sad to hear lots of others being banned.
    Cliquiness is a characteristic of dysfunctional humans, and this is what DoNM is. It happens because the clique can then exclude people, as exclusion is a typical bully trait.
    I am now on, a much better atmosphere, and none of that awful cliquiness.

    On Amazon, you can actually write about the author of the book on their site. Hopefully others will see that Danu is not to be trusted.

    When I joined DoNM I got a pm warning me about bannings, but I just ignored the pm, thinking it was some kind of spam, but then Danu made me feel unwelcome in her forum and I got banned, just like lots of others, my source of support, whipped away, just like that!

  13. I got banned the other day from the website after only having been a member for 3 days. I got a vague message telling me I had broken the terms...which I hadn't in fact I had to purposefully go out of my way not to break them since they were so stifling. But I believe my great sin being that I did mention I felt those things we weren't allowed to discuss (religion, politics) had value in demonstrating where a person was coming from... and though never mentioning those things about me or others... I was still banned.

    I was surprised and initially angry... but I believe I am at a point enough not to be traumatized over the event. In fact, I am thankful that it happened sooner than later... I would rather see how unhealthy the place was early on than after I really invested myself in sharing.

  14. Her forum has been down for several weeks now. Or is this another form of being banned?

  15. I have just verified this. When you click on the link for the forum you get to a page that says "Apologies but the forum is down for technical issues further notice - we're working on it and hope to have it back up asap."

    If it has been down for several weeks, as Miss Bee reports, then the reasons could be many: it could be a technical problem but I think that is unlikely since her husband runs (even owns) the site and he also owns the internet portal it comes through. He is an internet geek and it is unlikely that a technical problem has gone on this long...unless it is hardware related.

    I have spoken to people who know her and have been told she is a contentious, bossy sort...could it be her marriage has foundered as a result and she has lost her free forum as a result? Or perhaps there has been in rift inside the forum management (it wouldn't be the first time) that shut the place down? Another possibility is that she is revamping the forum to have better control.

    Yet another possibility...and one I that the forum is going away permanently. If you look at her other sites (she has about a dozen), you will see that they do not need regular monitoring. They just sit there, stagnant, with a bunch of links you can go to. But she seldom checks in, modifies, or updates them. I suspect the forum may have outlived its usefulness to her: she's gleaned all she needed from the women who posted there (plus nobody was paying enough either to support the site or for her EFT), so now that she's squeezed enough out of them to get a book out (and she DOES like to think of herself as a best-selling author), she no longer needs a forum that requires regular monitoring and attendance on her part.

    Those are my guesses--it will be interesting to see if it ever comes back (I will be surprised if it does).

    Thanks for the head's up, Miss Bee!

  16. Sweet Violet, thanks for your quick reply! I had come to depend on the site for support, and feel the loss now that it's gone...she did say that she and her husband had separated a while back, but, as I recall, they were going to continue as business partners.

    She had a giant screen-sized ad for her books that appeared at the top of the forum, and the in your face message was 'buy my book', and I have a feeling that very few did buy it. It could be that she's also made enough money, as you say, and doesn't want to provide the service any longer! Sad for many who relied on it, but actually the forum focus was beginning to drift quite a bit into other areas beyond NMs.

    Thanks again, and God bless!

  17. I found the Morrigan site a couple of hours ago, and while I found some of the information interesting, the site had a creepy vibe. So I looked around and found this. There is something very grasping about the Morrigan woman. It feels to me like all she is after is money. I've known people in the EFT community in London and they are so kind ... It's good to have my intuition validated anyway, with an abusive narcissistic mother validation hasn't been a big part of life. Seriously, I do feel hopeless a lot of the time, I have tried and tried, and still cannot heal the pain and ongoing low-key trauma of years of abuse and neglect, and I feel like I continue to be punished for a crime I didn't commit. My mother used to say she was sorry I was born, and a lot of the time that made two of us.

    1. I was directed to Morrigan's book after reading an answer to a problem in a magazine which recommended it. I have to say after many many years trying to work out what was wrong with me and my siblings I found it comforting in its specificity. there is definitely something grating and shrill in her writing and not a lot of room for remaining in contact with your mother. Because this has gone on for so long with me I naturally established a LC relationship with my mother in order to survive. and it works... but I'm still grateful to Morrigan for her clarity regarding characteristics, behaviour etc. Its valuable because there is so little information out there. To all of you with a NM or ND I found that acceptance that you will never feel love from them for your true self is very important....if you can work through that loss etc you can end up loving them and finding validation and love elsewhere for yourself. Acceptance is key.

    2. Everything you describe as "clarity regarding characteristics, behaviour, etc." is available on line through blogs such as this and through hundreds of websites by psychologists and other professionals. In fact, this is where she got the information you describe and if you go to her website you'll find it all...some of it blatantly plagiarized from sites such as Joanna Ashmun's or Kathy Krajco's (both of whom are conveniently deceased so they can't sue her for copyright infringement).

      I highly recommend Ashmun's site...there is a link in the right-hand corner of my blog's main page...she is a better writer and researcher.

      I have not read Tracy Culleton's book ("Danu Morrigan" is the alter-ego of Tracy Culleton and if you look up both names you'll find she named herself after Celtic dieties...grandiose much?) and unless I come across it on the web or for free, I shan't---not one red cent of my money will go into that woman's pocket. If you don't understand why, go to the main page of this blog and read the first "Beware these Sites" tab near the top. The woman is despicable and I will contribute nothing to bettering her life.

  18. Hi I have known for a long time my mother was a narcisstic personality - I have read a lot about narcissm and toxic parents - only just occurred to me to google "narcisstic mothers" -
    I spent two hours last night talking to my sister who was in melt down because our mother keeps leaving messages to arrange staying a few days with her - I know exactly how my sister feels - I received a text from our mother 2 weeks ago asking if she could come and stay overnight with me - I cant begin to describe how my heart sank and the panic I felt - For the past year and a half I have refused her any contact with me other than by email - I even had to defriend her from face book as she was posting insulting comments saying I needed to see a psychiatrist because I "wasn't right" then she told every one I was stalking her on face book. the past month we began talking over the telephone again, now she wants to just take up where we left off and I cant - I have banned that woman from my life many times (Often having no contact for up to 3 years) and given her so many chances and I just can't do it again.
    I'm afraid I panicked and lied saying I had a visitor staying with me - now I am waiting for her to ask again and I will tell her the truth that I can give her a few hours contact several times a year in a neutral place, (accompanied by a friend) but no more - With any luck she will take offence and wont speak to me for a while but she will contact me again - she is lonely,she drives everyone away from her and I live the closest.
    what can I do, she is 80 next month and I know she wants us (my sisters and I )to make a fuss of her, but none of us can bear to be around her. I feel guilty knowing her feelings will be hurt and she wont understand, but contact only brings abuse and emotional deconstruction- I can spend up to 2 days crying after contact with her, and most people see me as pretty tough.
    My sister felt so guilty even discussing her feelings about our mother with me - I view discussion as healthy not negative, but there is so little support . and Having a narcisstic parent is the gift that keeps on giving, even when they're absent - it is like a terrible curse you can't free yourself from. My sister still hasn't plucked up courage to answer the messages and phone her mainly because she can't find a way to tell her that she can't come and stay with her .
    Anyway just thought I'd post - Probably not what this blog is for but good to share it with people who KNOW - friends are sympathetic but they don't really understand.

    1. Your mother is not going to change. Narcissists only get worse as they age, not better.

      Our society has many sacred cows and myths that people never seem to challenge. Among them are "all mothers love their children" and "old people's eccentricities must be sympathetically tolerated." Well, guess what? A jerk is a jerk, a predator is a predator, no matter how old. If your mother was a serial child molester, would you make allowances just because she is 80? Narcissists take sore advantage of whatever opening you give them, so if you feel sorry for her because she is 80 and alone, that is the only crack she needs to get back into your life.

      My therapist once asked me, when I was moaning about some of my narcissistic husband's behavior, a telling question: "If you are looking out for him and his feelings and he is looking out for him and his feelings, who is looking out for you and your feelings?" The answer, of course, was "nobody."

      You seem to feel compelled to put your own well being aside the moment she rocks up and demands to be put first. Ask yourself two questions: 1) why? and 2) who's looking out for me while she and I are both looking out for her?

      There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and if that involves putting her aside, then that is what you must do. She made her bed and believe me, she KNOWS why people shun her, she just thinks you are wrong to do so. Don't buy into her crazy.

      Think about when you fly: the cabin attendant does her little song and dance at the beginning of the flight and one of the things she tells you is that when the oxygen masks drop, you should put yours on first, BEFORE you help anyone else, even your child. Why? Because only by taking care of yourself first do you have the oxygen to stay conscious and help others... In other words, do what is best for YOU because only by taking care of yourself first can you have what you need for others.

      Narcissists are sometimes called "psychic vampires" because the drain us of all of our emotional energy, leaving us spent. I think of them like those mind control parasites that invade the brains of other creatures and force them to do their bidding and ultimately destroy their hosts. YOUR well-being comes first and if your NM is emotionally harmful to you, then have no contact with her. She is not entitled to an explanation, and if you give one, be prepared for a long, drawn out argument where she tries to point out how you are wrong, that you are crazy, that she is right, that you are lying, that she deserves something from you. "No" is really all you have to say.

      Remember you (and your sister) have choice. If you to let her back into your life and she starts all of her old tricks again, she will take her re-admittance to your life as permission to behave as she always has. You get to choose...admittedly your choices are narrow, but you still have choice: let her in and experience her narcissism all over again or keep her out of your life and retain your peace.

      But remember, when you make a choice, you choose the consequences of it as well.

    2. Yes that is exactly what I experience from her - the long drawn out argument = which she enjoys very much - this is why I confined her to only email contact for over a year - -
      I was very good at looking after myself in the relationship for a very long time. . I long ago realised I had a toxic parent and had only minimal contact for years,and I had 2 good mother substitutes and role models, but when she split up with my step father and moved near (50 miles away but still too close) I somehow got sucked back in.-

      I think it was because I was very vulnerable at the time and suffered a lot of bullying at work and driven out because I have a hidden disability (Dyspraxia) It was only when on a visit (mother's day, ironically) she pointed out I wasn't laughing at her jokes, "we have different humour mother," and she began screaming abuse at me saying I lost my job because I was so horrible I could not keep a job or friends - I refused to see her since - That made me realise more than anything that I had once more been sucked back in. She has never been one minute concerned or sympathetic about my losing my job and my home, but implied often it was my fault and I should accept I deserved it..
      I owe her nothing at all - I know that, she was never there for me , she has no respect or liking for me - and was so insanely jealous when I went to University that I had to break off contact with her for 2 years because I knew I would never achieve success otherwise -
      For me it is a bit of a Dilemma when she was younger and had a husband I could just concentrate on looking after myself by distancing myself - but now she is old, alone and has health problems (genuine as well as imagined)- It just doesnt feel right to me to cut off completely - This is a no win situation it seems because I cannot have a loving or even halfway decent relationship with her - she wont change I know that - but I wouldn't feel good about myself to just reject her completely either.
      So I am going back to very limited, contact because a complete break doesn't work for me, I feel too much guilt to have a peace about it. also because of the family dynamics (I have 4 sisters) and I, unlike my mother, do have the ability to feel empathy - I know that although on one level she knows her behaviour is wrong and she enjoys and gets pleasure from it on the other hand she is a damaged unhappy human being , - (she was a battered child). And I often feel torn in her company because I do see the hurt child in her - the fact that she can't see mine, doesn't alter that -
      I spent so much of my life, first hating and fighting her, then trying to "develop a relationship with my mother" until I realised this was never going to happen, the more I tried to understand and have a mother/daughter relationship, the less respect she seemed to have for me. Now it seems there is a new twist because she is old and I try as I might, not to , do feel the old pull of the family tie -
      But I am going to go back to minimal contact 2 or 3 times a year and never alone - my sister is coming to see me - and we plan to pay a joint visit for her birthday, She will definitely never get to come into my home again.
      It would be interesting to know how other people manage and cope when their toxic abusive parent gets older and in need of genuine support,
      You are right, incidentally about narcissists getting worse as they get older - It does seem to me she is worse and more psychotic - She had a minor grade 1 lesion - I saw the medical report - but is telling everyone she is dying of a brain tumour to get lots of sympathy - she gets none from the family we have all experienced friends/inlaws with grade 4 tumours and are pretty sickened. I really don't think she would have gone that far say 10/15 years ago, but I also do genuinely think she does convince herself of this at the same time and is hurt and bewildered by our lack of "feeling" for her.
      Like I say - the narcisstic parent, the gift that keeps on giving.

    3. Forgot to say, thank you for your warning about Danu Morrigan - I did come across her site very quickly on my search - but I also saw yours and read your warning, - I had a look on hers and clicked on the narcissm test - straight away she asks for payment of 7 dollars, which is outrageous to charge for this, especially as you can download them from other sites for free - I did not bother looking any further on her site -
      Thanks for your blog - read some of your memories - quite shocking - I will read some more, but a bit at a time.It is brave of you to share these.
      I will share just one of mine from childhood - several times I pulled my dressing table across my bedroom door because my mother kept threatening to come in and stab me in my sleep - I suffered insomnia for decades -

  19. Oh no, I paid for that test and completed it. I thought it would help me and a friend of mine. Am I at risk of public exposure? Do I have any recourse to unsubscribe from it? I feel quite vulnerable now. So glad I did not send a copy of the book to my mother, as I first intended. She would have jumped at the chance of discrediting me to other members of the family for my 'vindictiveness' and belief in 'snake oil' had she googled Tracey and her flying monkeys.

    1. Ruth, I have no idea how Tracy runs her website, so I cannot give you any information about whether or not you can unsubscribe.

      I also have no idea how vulnerable you are to public exposure. That book may be her only offering, then again, she may be gathering information for another book using her existing website.

      You will have to contact Tracy herself via her website to learn how to unsubscribe and get out of her web. I wish I could help you, but there is really nothing I can do and no advice on this situation I can offer.

      Best of luck


  20. I just found Danu Morrigan's DONM site and as I read more and more, my gutt instinct told me THIS PERSON IS A NARCISSIST. Somehow (thank you God) my next link was to this site, and THANK all for the validation of my gutt feeling. I'm so pleased that my extensive N education and my improved self-awareness and self-love (as well as long-time detachment from my N mother and sister) is truly helping me to recognize their sad cry for help, place them in God's hands, and WALK AWAY (feeling proud of myself!) THANK YOU !!!

  21. I, too, found "Danu's" site after reading The Guardian article. I emailed her and provided personal information about my situation last night. I included that my conflict was that I didn't want my sons to think that I had taken their grandma away. Instantly, I received a response and she had said that my story reminded her that she needed to write something about narcissistic grandmothers. The strange part was that she referenced pedophiles twice in the article. I had mentioned that my brother had molested my sister and I and thought it strange that she would reference this. It elicited a physical reaction each time I read it and felt like she was talking directly to me. I responded to her email and divulged even more personal information. I felt like I was so lucky to get so much support, since I really had no one else to help me with NC. Now, I feel played and wish I had not been so trusting with my personal story. Thank you for informing DONMs of this treachery.


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