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.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Your destiny is in your own hands

Last year I received an email from a woman I will call “Jane.” Jane was desperate to emotionally break away from her narcissistic mother and had happened across my blog in her search for assistance. She wrote to me and I wrote back.

This morning, nearly a year after her initial contact with me, I got another email from Jane detailing her progress. In only a year, Jane has gone from the depths of despair and desperation with her malignant narcissist mother to a feeling of confidence and being in control of her own life. She has hope, she has a sense of achievement and she looks forward to her future with a happy heart. She is a testament to what a person can accomplish, even with a malignant narcissist for a mother and an enabling father. And she’s no mere girl either: I receive mail all the time from women in their 50s and 60s who think they are too old to start the process, that their lives have been wasted and they have no future. But Jane was 53 when she first wrote me and today, at 54, she is looking forward to her future.

I thought you all might want to see just what kind of results you can achieve in only a year when you become determined to take control of your life and start acknowledging that you have other choices than the ones you have made to date. With Jane’s permission, I reproduce our correspondence below.

13 August 2013
Hi Violet,

Firstly, I love your site. I was going to go on another site and even order their books and CD's, until I looked further and saw your website, and read to avoid that site. Thank heavens! So thank you already, for that.

My name is Jane, and I am now 53 years old. My mother has been emotionally (and physically) abusive to me, all my life. Especially when I was a child. She had a violent temper that she was proud of, and bragged that it always got her her own way. In her eyes, I could do nothing right, and every day she'd rant and rave that she wished she'd never had me and she hoped one day that I'd have a child like me. I had NO self confidence and was timid. In short, I was terrified of her.

Every time I got a little self confidence she start running me down, and she'd pound it into me that I was a horrible person on the inside, nobody liked me, and that she knew me better than anyone, even myself. She'd say this over and over again to me, when I tearfully protest that I am a good person. She'd push me down the stairs, yelling to me, over and over again, that I was incapable of love. She was always telling me what a cold unaffectionate person I am, but she'd never hug me. I used to sit on my bed at night, at 15 yrs of age, and rock and cry, aching to be hugged. She'd come into my room, and see me, and be angry and yell at me for it.

And if we ran into family friends, when out shopping and she'd stand there running me down to them, whilst I'd just look at the ground and cry. I remember once, watching my tears dripping onto my shoes. I felt crushed.

She tried to sabotage my wedding day (deliberately) so there would be no bridesmaid’s dresses a week before my wedding, and insulted my firstborn child, at the hospital. Everything that's ever been precious to me, she's tried to ruin it for me.

I had serious surgery when I was thirty, and she refused to come and see me at the hospital. (no one can be sicker than her, so she said I had surgery just to get attention.)

If she said something inappropriate to my children and I asked her to stop, she'd get huffy, walk out and sit in the car, facing the other way, waiting for dad to come and drive her home.

After my surgery, I had complications and was very ill for months after, with post op infections. All she'd do, was ring me up, trying to break me down, to try and make me admit I'd "ruined my life" having the surgery, saying "Admit it! Admit it! Admit it!" Until, sick and overwhelmed, one day I finally collapsed at the other end, in tears. So, then she really went for it, doing it even more, until I was absolutely distraught! (I've seen her do this to other people, as well, over the years.)

I'm now 53 and divorced, and it's still no better. She's a bully. But if I try to set boundaries and try to stand up to her, she tells my father that I was horrible to her, and then he's cold towards me. Dad's always protected mum, even though he knows what she's like. We all have to tiptoe around mum. He expects us not to upset our 'poor mother'.

To this day, she phones and has goes at me, bringing up what an awful child I was, and I always feel guilty, though I don't know what I've done wrong, so can't defend myself. I say nothing, because if I do, she gets angry, turns cold and says nastily, "Talk to you in 6 months", then doesn't talk to me for months, and dad is then upset with me. What I get from him, if I try to talk to him about it is, "What's your poor mother done now?"

You see, it's always MY fault. Then when I call, he's cold towards me.

But her cruel digs at me (always about my childhood) screw me up for days after, with all the unfairness of it.

As for dad, I think "What about ME? When do I matter???"

When my mother verbally abuses others, she always feels justified and says with satisfaction, "They knew how I felt".

I'm afraid of her, and hate visiting, because one day I might be welcome. Another day I might have the door slammed in my face, with no idea why. Or she simply isn't talking to me, and after sitting there in silence for a while, I finally leave. (again, no reason is given, why she does this).

I rarely visit, anymore.

When I was a child, she used to say to me, "I love your father, and if he leaves me, it will be all your fault!"

And I couldn't bring friends home, as she'd humiliate me in front of them, telling them how horrible I was. (I was 12, at that time). My friends would apologise to me later, for getting me into trouble. And I'd say sadly, "No, she's just like that."

I'm having a hard time today, like so many days. In tears, at some more recent unfairness from her. I'd been very nice to her a week ago when she was sick (I'd felt sorry for her, and been tender to her, and even put up with her biting my head off), and instead she told dad I'd been horrible to her. Then she told me that she'd told him. But I hadn't done anything wrong! Once again, I can't say anything as dad will take her side, and I'll be the bad one.

My fear of losing dad's approval, is something she holds over me.

She's a bully that bullies and then runs and hides behind him. He never defended me when I was child. He'd hear her screaming at me, but hide behind his newspaper. He said to me once, when I went to him in tears, "If she's picking on you, then she's not picking on me."

She gloats about what she gets away with.

Please! I am absolutely desperate. I feel like I have no voice! Also, in recent years, she has completely re-written the past, and tells us all what a wonderful mother she was to us, and dad stands there and says nothing. This is also accompanied by what a rotten child I was (my sister gets this treatment, too).

For my sister and me, it breaks our hearts and we feel frustrated and angry and powerless. We both copped it when we were young, but I copped it worse (I was the eldest and by far, her favourite scapegoat. My sister copped it more, after I left home. ). My brother recently asked me how come it never messed me up. Well obviously it did.  That he'd always wondered how I'd survived. So do I.

I had a nervous breakdown at 16, and was sent to live with my aunt, because my mother said she couldn't stand me. And yet, I stayed out of her way, I hid in my room and tried to be invisible, as the very sight of me, enraged her. My aunt was so kind to me. I cried the first night, because I was so overwhelmed with how kind everyone was to me.

My aunt said to my mother, "I don't know how come you have so much trouble with her. She's so quiet."

I used to do the housework and try to please her, but she'd narrow her eyes at me, and say "I know what you're doing and you'll never make me like you."

I joined a church youth group at 17(that sense of belonging probably saved my life), and I talked to the pastor about her. He kept telling me to just try and get along with my mother. He finally met her one day and sat down and chatted to her and she began running me down. I don't know what she said to him, but he changed his tune after that, and said to stay away from her as she was evil. Strong words, for that pastor.

I want to have a voice. I want to be able to set boundaries with her. I want to get her negative words out of my head. But dad will turn on me and coldly reject me if I stand up to her. Please help me. I am utterly desperate.

13 August 2013
Dear Jane—
I have a question for you—why does your father's approval mean anything at all to you at this point? Can you not see that he is squarely in your mother's court—he is her ally against you? You focus all of your angst on your mother, but from what I read, he is no less a tormenter than she is, the only difference in it being she is assertive and he is passive aggressive.
I am going to tell you a truth you do not want to hear: you are never going to win the affection or approval of either of them because their game involves tormenting you to feel good about themselves. You cannot change anyone but yourself, so nothing you can do or say will ever change either one of them. She is the attack arm, he is the supporting troops and both of them are against you, not just her.
Your NM sounds just like mine and your EF (enabling father) sounds like my GC Brother. My parents divorced when I was young and my father was not an enabler or narcissist, so I at least had him. But you do have a mother like mine and a father who supports her because it suits him to do so.
You want to believe that somewhere deep down inside, they love you...or at least he loves you. Ask yourself this: is this the way people treat those they love?
You don't want to believe they don't love you, they've never loved you, because you think that if that is the case, you must have done something horrible to make your own parents hate you and you not only cannot remember what you did, you don't want to know and have to live with the guilt.
Well, after 50+ years of a mother like yours (mine did me one favour in my life: she died fifteen years ago), five years of intensive therapy, and 20+ years of applying that therapy, I have come to one very significant conclusion about people like our mothers and your father: their animosity towards you has absolutely nothing to do with anything you ever did. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Their pathological behaviour and twisted, unnatural feelings about you have nothing whatsoever to do with you—and it has everything to do with them.
Think about it this way: suppose somebody gave those people a little puppy—8 weeks old and full of love and tail-wagging happiness. Now, let's suppose they neglected and tormented that puppy until it was a sad, neurotic dog that snapped at people. And then they blamed the dog because he snapped at people and they got rid of it. What would you think of those people? Would you blame the puppy? What did that puppy do wrong to deserve being ignored and neglected and abused? And even if it peed on the rug a few times—it is a puppy—it doesn't know any better and it was their job to train him and teach him how to behave.
You are that puppy. Something is wrong inside the psyches of the people who brought you into the world and instead of viewing you as a precious gift, they viewed you as a victim upon whom they could take out their aggressions and twisted view of the world, a way to make themselves blameless for their own inherent evil.
You need to see a therapist, someone who has experience in helping people who come from abusive households. Don't think of it as a few visits, think of it as your new hobby because extricating yourself from the denial you still have with respect to your father is going to take time and you really won't make much headway in dealing with your NM until you get honest with yourself about him. They are a team...he is not your ally, he is hers. He helps her to hurt you—in fact, I would not be surprised to learn he is the primary narcissist and she acts as his Flying Monkey. It took me five years of therapy to gather the tools and insights to continue without a therapist. I can tell you from personal experience that was worth every hour I spent and every tear I shed to get that horrible woman out of my head and become my own person instead of her disappointing daughter.
You have the same opportunity but it isn't a magic wand kind of takes time and it takes dedication and commitment to yourself and your own well-being. It worked for me and there is no reason whatsoever it cannot work for you as well.

3 August 2014

Dear Violet,

I'm not sure if you'll remember me. But I wrote to you a year ago and at the time. I was at the end of my tether with my malignant narc mother.

So much has happened since then, and your advice, both via email and on your site, has changed my life.

The single biggest help, was journaling and going NO CONTACT and reading your blogs.

I was also in my umpteenth relationship with a very selfish egotistical man, who'd lie and cheat on me and break my heart, and really play my emotions when I'd try to leave. After reading on your site about how scape-goat daughters can get stuck in these bad relationship cycles, I finally understood, how I was just trying to get these men to love me, the same way I'd tried in vain to gain my mother’s love. I also tended to need these men, to 'mother' me. And in their own way, they did. Only, just like my mother had, by being emotionally unavailable.

I was so starved for a bit of love and attention, I'd accept these scraps. Yet strangely, when good men came along who did want to commit to me, I'd feel so much pain and I'd push them away. Something in me, was reacting to it.

As for my father, he was so remote, I can't even identify with father figures at all. I always sought a mother.

Well, it's a year on, and I've done so much work on myself! It's still on-going, of course. But I have come so far.

I'm now in a loving committed relationship, with a really good and decent and kind man.

Three months ago, I resumed low contact with my mother, which, to be honest, I regret. (I listened to the wrong advice, there.)

Nothing had changed with her, but I was amazed, after 9 months of not talking to her on the phone, just how toxic she really is. It was quite a shock, after months of just talking to normal people.

Of course, she hung on the phone and got bored and got nasty and had a nasty dig at me about what an 'awful' child I was, and how she'd never wanted me, blah, blah, blah.

But this time, I just silently stepped back from it and thought "These aren't my issues. These are your issues."

I never said a word, or tried to fill the silence or defend myself. I let the silence just sit there between us. Eventually she got frustrated because I wouldn't respond, and in exasperation, she changed the subject.

I was in control! :-)

But I did regret resuming contact, and realised I'd made a terrible mistake and let myself down. So, I have at least, since then, made sure it is low contact. I call only once every 4 to 6 weeks, and talk only for 10 minutes and I'm off again (she hates this). But if we talk more often than that, it always goes badly, and then it takes me weeks to get over it, as it resurrects lots of bad memories for me.

If she plays up on the phone, I end the call even sooner.

A year ago, my brother wasn't very supportive of me, even though he knows what mum is like. But after I went no contact, and my sister went low contact (I shared a lot of stuff I learned with her), mum started picking on my brother, (the golden child). Boy, he sure changed his tune, and was writing to me for support, because mum has to have a scapegoat, and now he was it.

He has a little seven year old daughter, whom mum shows no warmth towards, (typical of her). The child is terrified of mum. He wrote this to me recently,

Last time I was up, mum gave me one of those intent stares and said " I don't want anything to do with my grandchildren" .

He also wanted to visit the parents, but they weren't interested.

You were also right Violet. My father is very much teamed up on mum's side. I've lost all my illusions about my father. He doesn't love me. Never did. A year ago, that was painful to me. Now it isn't.

Violet, you cannot imagine how much you have changed my life. All 54 years of it. All the pain and false guilt (from my mother), and destructive relationship patterns, and even the lack of self-esteem, (from mother constantly running me down). Everything has changed for me! Life is wonderful, and I go out and feel good about myself now.

You don't say stupid things like "Oh, try to get along with your mother," (which is a cruel thing to say to anyone with a narc parent) You don't insult our intelligence, and play down the damage these narcissists do. When my mother is being emotionally cruel, she smirks and enjoys every minute of it.

They mean to be cruel. It feeds them.

I just want to thank from the bottom of my heart.



  1. This is all way too familiar! One thing I came to realize, was that while my father was the raving malignant narcissist type my mother was not just his enabler but a narcissist in her own more subtle way. Daddy dearest is overt while mummy dearest quietly manipulates. Now I call them the "tag team". He landed the first blow and she quietly finished what he started. Her favourite line: "How dare you upset your father?" Today I understand my mother was the one that utterly destroyed my sense of self.
    As for the smirk, that is my father. Mother says nothing as he raves. She just nods and smiles her tacit agreement.
    Still like the train analogy the best: They were a train wreck waiting to happen before I was even born. Me lying down on the track won't stop it. Today, the train rumbles on without me.

  2. It took me a long time to realize that the parent who set me up and then left the room while the other parent raged and beat me was actually the WORSE parent. Nmother did waaaaaaay more damage than Nfather. It wasn't a counselor asked me, "Where was your mother while all this was happening?" that I realized that she wasn't in a single memory of Nfather's abuse - she had simply left the room and let it happen. No, worse, she had set it up to make it happen. What kind of monster treats her children that way??

    1. Pearl, I often wondered why people like that had children in the 1st place! Maybe I got the worst of the "invisible" emotional abuse because I was the "accident" but my older and younger brother were planned. In spite of the abuse they suffered hey both turned out to be destructive narcissists in their own right which probably made the folks very proud.
      Both of my parents have criticized my cousin & his wife for making the choice to remain childless. They call them "selfish". I was born in 1946 and I believe for their generation having children was "the right thing to do" and putting on the proper face for the outside world is something my parents are experts at doing. Sometimes I wonder if they're so sick they needed to create their own victims. Children were easy to manipulate and abuse behind the closed doors of their "real" world!

    2. Your parents, like mine, created the Baby Boom. I was born in 47. It was considered selfish to not have children, so you had them whether you wanted them or not because it was "expected" of you...and also because contraception was a hit-or-miss affair back then (your cousin was fortunate to have come of age at a time that contraception was much more reliable and available). When I was growing up, the average American family had 4 mother and father has only 2, but my father remarried and had 5 more. Classrooms were crowded (I remember 40+ kids in my classrooms and double sessions). Everybody was making babies back then because that is what was expected of them.

      That imperative is still alive and well in some parts of America (Duggars, anyone?) but even though people have fewer kids these days, it doesn't make it any easier on the kids if their parents are narcissists. The real point here is that the selfish narcissists who were your parents actually considered your cousin to be the selfish one for not having kids. So, if you say that selfish people shouldn't have children narcissists, who really shouldn't have kids, remove themselves from the prohibition because they don't consider themselves selfish at all.

      I suspect most narcissists have children because their fantasy worlds consist of pretty little babies who grow up into beautiful, accomplished children that make Mummy and Daddy look good. When the reality sets in, though, narcissists use every trick they have to get what they can out of us. My NM was very clear about how disappointing I was from the beginning (I had eczema and colic) and by the age of 2 she actually abandoned me to be adopted. Her mother, however, horrified at the thought, took me home to live with her and my grandfather until they could get NM to take me back (took almost 2 years). She wanted kids, but I wasn't what she wanted because I did nothing to improve her image.

      And that, I think, is what it is all about. They think in storybook and slick magazine images and believe that when they have a baby, it will be a story book experience and they will have the slick magazine image baby. And they punish us for taking that away from them.

    3. Violet, my late older brother became a raving narc like my father and after trying to sexually abuse me went on to sexually abuse his own daughter. My younger brother became an alcoholic-addict who has never held a real job in his life.
      I acted as the family caretaker/slave, did well in school and put myself through two universities at night school while teaching special education for 25 of my 33 years as a teacher. I married a great guy, we built a beautiful home in the country and gave the bastards access to our beautiful and accomplished daughter. In an effort to win their approval I compromised my marriage, my child and my own sanity.

      The dead older brother who terrified them with threats and rages has been elevated to sainthood and the younger brother is their Golden Child. Last time I spoke to my father he told me I was a loser who had wasted her life sitting on her fat ass doing nothing.
      Go figure!
      Karma's a bitch: My younger brother disappears into his addictions at the 1st sign of a crisis/illness and, in the past, I would drop everything to help the folks out. Now I am out of their lives they will get exactly what they deserve when the end nears and they need help: nothing!

  3. About a year has passed now since last visiting with NM(Since then, some phone contact only). What's interesting is that I am healing psychologically, emotionally, & physically. My thinking is sharper, I dont hurt all the time, and my energy level and stamina has improved greatly. I deal with disappointment and anger though but I dont let it consume cant. In looking back, Ive come up with many theories on how she was most likely involved in destroying many aspects of my life. Although I cant be sure. A NM destroys her evidence and creates evidence on you. Also you know she is never going to admit to it. In the past few years prior to NC, I became sick. I looked like a Cushings patient and later developed cirrhosis of the liver. I recovered from that close call only to have another. This time it was kidney trouble. I was lucky to recover from that as well. Im losing that Cushings look and I no longer have symptoms associated with organ trouble. This may sound far fetched but I wouldn't be surprised if she was somehow giving me her Prednisone which is a steroid that can induce Cushings. As for the organ trouble, I cancelled my life insurance policy and let her know about it. Her response to that was, "Im glad to know its cancelled bc now I know how to bury you." She said that in an evil way. I mean an entire change of voice like one might do in a scary movie. My message here: Do not underestimate what some NM's can do. My abdomen just recently flattened out(had been unnaturally swollen), and now Im waiting for the rest of my appearance to return. I was once quite pretty. If I could take a guess I would say she had been jealous of my appearance.

  4. Good for you Violet! I was shocked how similar my situation is. My father actually told my mother that he hated me so much that it made him feel good to hurt me and she did nothing. He would scream "I'm going to make you pay!" and told me things like I was a parasite and a trash can. My mother just blew it all off and did everything she could to keep me in the system. My brother only showed anger to me and treats me like I am the most vile thing alive. Once I cut off from my brother after he emotionally attacked me just prior to my major spine surgery (with a herniated disc indenting my spinal chord), he seemed to change his tune towards my father. It seems if I wasn't there to be the scapegoat, he had to face the reality of his own feelings towards my father.

    I am so happy to read how much progress you have made in the last year!!!! Best Wishes to you!!!!

  5. I am 25 and am desperate to brake from my moms hold over me. Reading Jane's story makes me realize more than ever how that nothing is going to change with her and if I am unhappy only I have the power to change things. Im still terrified of her. Just the thought of saying "no" to her demands makes me feel like a nervous wreak. But there's no way I want to play this game another 25+ years.

    1. Anon, when I finally went no contact with my father, I didn't say no. I said, "I'm done." and hung up. Of course, being done with him meant I was done with my narcissistic mother too.
      Since I have no contact there is no way for them to influence my life.

  6. My mom is pretty good at staying away on her own, the only time I hear from her is when its payday and she needs to "borrow" money for some emergency ie rent, food, gas. So saying no is something I need to work on myself, I've been kinda hidding behind my husband when it comes to telling her no, even right now I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, she never lets anything go and we just denied her request two weeks in a row so she's pissed. She showed up at my grandmothers (her mom) house while I was there visiting asking for advice on how to deal with her, got out of het car yelling about how she "almost kept driving because she was here" then proceeded to act as if I did not exist until I finally left. I know ignoring me is the least she can do as far as revenge I'm tired of dealing with it all I just want to leave state, it sounds easier to pack up my husband and two kids and move than deal with her

  7. Thank you for your well wishes. Yes, I am "Jane". It isn't easy, but it iS possible to move forward. But I have had family members try to hoover me back in, and had to learn to say "No" and do what is best for ME.

    The only way I've been able to do this, is to be prepared for others to not understand, and just stick by my guns on my decision. Quite honestly, I've had to remind myself that low contact and no contact are about ME being in control, and not my NM.

    But no, nothing changed until I changed it. And really, could it get any worse? I had nothing to lose anymore.

    I'm so grateful though, to Violet, for showing me the way out. Because I honestly didn't know. I was just floundering in it, and the more I struggled (like trying to defend myself to my mother), the worse it got. She just relished my pain and would mock me.

    To be honest, I wish I'd stayed NO CONTACT. I did ALL my real healing then. LOW CONTACT is harder, and my process, whilst still ongoing, has slowed considerably.

    If I had it again, I'd stay NO CONTACT. Just being honest.

    But I AM much stronger today, and I refuse to be drawn back into the unhealthy family dynamic, and my NO means NO. I do not see my parents in person, ever.
    And the boundaries I've set, are strict, and I do not change them.

    It takes self discipline, not to get sucked back in, especially if my mother tries to act pathetic.

    But she's a narcissist and they are scammers, so I protect myself. Finally, someone is protecting me. ME!

    1. Jane, there is no reason you can't go No Contact again and this time stay that way. What are you getting out of LC that keeps you from going NC and keeping it?

    2. I agree with Violet. Time and again I went no contact and was either drawn back by genuine family emergencies or my sense of responsibility. Various degrees of low contact got me nowhere and just delayed the inevitable. No contact set me free.

  8. I'm glad you raised that point Violet, because after the very first phone call, I felt saddened and regreted that I'd lifted the NO CONTACT. I felt like I'd let myself down. I did it, only after reading some poor information on a forum about kissing and making up with ones folks, and life is too short to not try to get along with your narc parents. (probably a narc wrote it.) And I felt guilty. (Yeah, that old trap.)

    But as I said, after the first phone call and mother was even more toxic than I'd even remembered, I felt really sad and felt that I'd let myself down.

    I just didn't think it was possible to go NO CONTACT again.

    And I actually believe I'd greatly benefit if I did. Because while I'm still doing well, since the calls have resumed, I am just starting to have days where I struggle again. Not many. But after almost forgetting all about her for several months, the phone calls resurrected a lot of bad memories and I felt anger and frustration again.

    Another thing I have noticed, since I wrote to Violet, is my dad tries to convince me, on the phone, that mum was a good mother, and all mothers are like that. We weren't even talking about mum, but he just likes to interject this into the conversation, like a type of brain washing, so that I will think the way they want me to think, and that they did no wrong. They just want me to be clear about that.

    That says heaps, doesn't it?

    And yes Violet, I deeply regret going LOW CONTACT.

    They never call me, and haven't visited me in years, so it's just a matter of not calling. I can do what I did before, just send the occassional email (usually a forwarded on joke) or a card on birthdays. This assures them I'm not dead, so then they think I'm okay and don't call. They are not the warm touchy feely type.

    It was wonderful being NO CONTACT! Life became wonderful, my self esteem and self confidence just soared. I had inner peace.

    I'm still doing okay, but it's slowed down since going LOW CONTACT. And I'm beginning to suspect, that all I'm really doing is maintaining the gains I made, when I was NO CONTACT.

    The effective way to heal, is to avoid them.

    I'm glad you pointed this out Violet, because I've been stuck in LOW CONTACT in recent months and regreting it and dreading the monthly obligatory phone call just lately, but thought it was too late to go back to Paradise. (NO CONTACT)

    After talking to dad the other day and him trying to brainwash me, I can see that LOW CONTACT is a slippery slope. I've been just starting to experience the first slight deterioration. (since I wrote that email to VIolet)

    You are right Violet. I've had enough red flags of late. I AM going back to NO CONTACT.

    I now think it's the ONLY effective way. Yes, there's some back lash (I experienced this), but you only lose those who were never really on your side anyway.

    And thanks Violet, for helping me to see I CAN do this again. This time I will stay NO CONTACT. It was the best 6 months of my entire life! It really works.

    I'm grabbing my ticket to freedom again. And to the 25 year old girl who wrote in the comments above, I was like you ate 25. Terrified of my mother, and a nervous wreck to try and say NO to her demands.

    My advice, get out NOW! I wish I have. Don't waste your youth on these people.

    Oh, and one more think, I DID feel nervous and jittery about going NO CONTACT the first time.

    Thanks Violet.

  9. I'd like to also add, that my sister IS still involved with mum and dad, and goes through hell. They use her as their flying monkey (she's very religious and plays the dutiful daughter), and then later she apologises profusely, for letting mum get to her and use her. (mum is extremely manipulative, and these days dad even spies and reports back to mum. He's retired and around mum all the time, so they really team up together these days).

    But when they're finished with my sister, they turn on her, and mum stands over her and verbally abuses the hell out of her, until she's reduced to hysterical tears.

    Dad does nothing to stop mum. But when mum is done, he leads my sister out of the room and says nothing. She's never really sure if he feels sorry for her or not, as he doesn't talk about what just happened.

    If she stops calling mum for a while, he acts cold and abrupt with my sister when she does eventually call. (I've copped this treatment too, in the past)

    So, it really is quite serious. These are very toxic people.

    1. Venus, your dad sounds just like my mum who is a narcissist in her own right. Quiet and manipulative they are more dangerous than the raving lunatic type because you don't even see them coming!

  10. I think you are right Mulderfan, and this was the thing Violet had to get through to me, the first time I ever wrote to her. I knew dad always teamed up with mum and would take her side, but he'd hide behind her and I'd think he still cared about me, at least a bit. Dad likes evryone to think he's the 'nice one'. Yet, he's actually said stuff every bit as cruel as her, whilst backing her up, and actually says it in a quiet more sadistic way. He's quieter and colder. She's louder and more aggressively vicious.

    They have a strange marriage, devoid of affection. I've never seen them hug, and each one hates to be touched. I'm amazed they had children. But then I do know, because my mother has described their sex life to me for years. (who does that to a child?)

    It was much harder to let go of dad than mum, because dad can seem to be at least sometimes nice. But when I attended my uncles funeral three years ago, which my mother then threw a tantrum and refused to attend because I'd be there, dad turned cold and nasty on the phone and said quite curtly that he didn't need me and my presence wasn't required at the funeral.

    I went to the funeral because my sister begged me to go with her, and before we left for the funeral, we could hear mum inside the house screaming abuse at dad for letting me attend, even though she later told my sister that she'd never had any intention of attending, anyway.

    She was just angry because I attended. And dad in turn, snubbed me on the day.

    When we returned to my parents house, after the funeral, mum took every opportunity to ridicule me in front of the rest of the family, and dad did nothing about it.

    Mum never spoke directly to me (she was freezing me out that day, as she often does). She just talked about me nastily, as though I wasn't in the room.

    And next time we talked, dad was defending mum again saying "What's your poor mother done now?" Because she complains about me bitterly to him, and he always takes her side.

    My sister says dad's just weak. But that doesn't explain some of the cutting and very cruel things he quietly says to me, on mums behalf. It takes a special kind of cruelty to say that stuff, when visiting your very sick daughter in hospital. (mum refused to visit me at all, as no one can be sicker than her) But dad turned up, and said it all for her.

    You are sooo right, he is the more dangerous, because it's easy to get fooled that he is just an innocent in it all. He's just more stealthy than her. :-(

    And Violet, I am feeling such relief since I decided to go NO CONTACT again. Since I've stopped anticipating having to make those obligatory calls, I've gone back to forgetting all about mum and dad in my every day life. Reading over what I have written in the last few days, I can see that I must not give them a foothold in my life again. They're like door to door salesman, and if you open the door even a crack, they get their foot in the door. I really do need to be NO CONTACT.

    And Mulderfan, I really feel for you, if you have parents like mine. People with normal parents just don't comprehend the enormity of it.

    1. Violet, I am finally free and happier than I have ever been in my life. One of the most useful things I've learned is that, I was not an unlovable child, I simply had parents who were incapable of love. as for those who judge my decision to go NC with my 92 & 95 year old parents: "What other people think of me is none of my business."
      NC is their loss, not mine.

  11. Mulderfan, I'm just reading your post. I'm so thrilled for you. You won't regret your choice!!! I've just gone back to NC and already feel better too. I'm no longer trying to think up ways how to respond next time she says this or that. I don't have to dwell on how to cope with her, anymore. It's so mentally and emotionally freeing.

    I loved NC the first time. I just blossomed! And I've now learned, NOT to go back!

    I've just read some reviews on Amazon for the book 'When Will I Ever be good Enough', and all the successful reviewers seemed to be saying the same thing. The only thing that really works, is going NC.

    I'm so pleased for you! :-)


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