Since the time I was a young child, I have had a tumultuous relationship with my mother. Throughout the years, I have realized that my mother is seen a certain way by family, and a different way by work friends and the general public. She puts up a front, often "Martha Stewart-esque," where she is the ideal hostess, best worker, ideal mother, dearest friend. But living with her is another story. She is a rageaholic, and spends a large part of her time complaining, yelling, swearing, at anything and everything. She goes on diatribes about her work situation, supervisor and coworkers, and gets pissed if you try to interrupt her or walk away. She watches political tv shows and yells at he television constantly. When I was a child, if she came home from work, and the dishes had not been done, or no one fed the dog, she would scream and complain how she is the only one who does anything around the house. We were always expected to get good grades, and if we got anything below a B +, she screamed at us, and likely grounded us. I was always given punishments that were over the top for the crime. Being grounded for months, which was written on the large kitchen calendar on the fridge black marker in all caps for everyone to see. I remember many times being chased up the stairs to my room in fear, closing the door, only to have her swing it open and attack me. I remember her doing it when I got older , and I kicked her or hit her back, and realized at that point I was stronger than her. I distinctly remember a "mommy dearest moment" when my mother came into my room in the middle of the night, and found that I had draped my clothes over the rack instead of putting them on hangers, and she threw all of my clothes on me while I was sleeping. Screaming and yelling, about how ungrateful I was.

I have never felt close to my mother, but I always longed for that relationship. Every time I have tried to share a part of my life, or have been having a tough time she always jumps into lecture mode and tells a story of how she had it worse. I have always felt close with my dad---and he sees her for what she is---but they're still married! I said recently that if mom had to raise us on her own, she would've shipped us to boarding school or we would be living with another family member, he said she might've killed us. I do not believe she should have had children, I believe she resents being a mother, that she brags about our accomplishments to reflect on her as a mother, and I have told her so on several occasions. I do not respect her, and I wish to be nothing like her. Which is difficult because I feel her negative and argumentative nature engrained in me, and worry if I too am a narcissist at times. I struggle to have a healthy relationship with my boyfriend of 5 years, and in the past year I have started to put he pieces together of why I am the way I am.

I had to move home for a short time, and have realized that It has never been my house, it is her house. As a child, my belongings were hers also. She has made it very clear that I am unwelcome, and has thrown my things--like clean clothes from he dryer onto the floors for no reason other than her own anger that I m here. She always says things to cut me down, but tries to smooth things over, showing that my emotions do not matter. She has never trusted me, told me as a child that 99.9% of everything that goes wrong is my fault, and makes my life hell.k

Living at home was not my first choice, but I had forgotten just how bad she was, and thought maybe she had changed. All of this being said, I am a high achiever, employed full time, and working to be completely independent of my parents, (I just graduated college in may)I've just fallen on hard times. I have a house to move in to that I have been working with my dad to renovate. It's only a matter of time, but I just want to know, is my mother a narcissist? I would like to cut off all contact, and cannot believe I have not had the courage to do so yet, but do not want to hurt or avoid the rest of my family. This only scratches the surface of all my mother has put me through, but it is clear to me that it is not normal. What do I do now?


Hi - so sorry you've endured this bad relationship with your mother. Since we're not doctors we can't say for sure whether your moms a narcissist but can say she's definitely abusive. How does your father stand her and has he ever stood up to her? I think you should explain to your dad, you don't want to alienate the whole family but its unhealthy for you to take your mothers outbursts. Now you're an adult you need firm boundaries with your mother and you should stand up for yourself.

If you think she's had a lasting affect on you where its interfering with your life, then please seek out some therapy to heal. As you said, you don't want to be like her if you have children one day. She needs to understand she can't and shouldn't treat people or family like this. Do you have other siblings?

I think boundaries, and forgiveness but not forgetfullness (for your own piece of mind, and for coping sakes) are all good ideas