The Day I got Tired of Being the Last Person that Mattered


unnamed-1Abusers will point at minor issues going down trails leading nowhere designed to confuse the situation in order to discredit you along the way enabling them to be right and to defend their actions and position of power and entitlement.” Darlene Ouimet

The final straw is rarely the biggest issue and although the issue that I highlight in the following article may seem like a pretty big one, it was really just another event in a long line of events where I didn’t count.

The final straw for me has been different with different people and depending on the situation but the bottom line of this article can be applied to situations involving almost anyone that has you in a position of less power or value than they see themselves as having.

In the case of my mother the final straw was when she called me one day and said that she needed to talk to me about something. She told me that when I was in Arizona visiting my brother, I had said something to his wife that had caused a bit of a stir.

At this point I had been coming out of the fog for about a year and a half, I had been working with a therapist, I had attended a few workshops about recognizing the abuse of power and control in relationships and I was really catching on to the way that I had been defined by the ways I had been regarded and disregarded by my mother as a child, teenager and adult. So when she said “when you were in Arizona” the first thing that I did was the math and I quickly realized that my mother was talking about something that had happened 8 months prior to this phone call; I immediately recognized that “this incident” which was about me, had been discussed for a very long time behind my back. Here is how it went; 

Mom said “I have been wanting to talk to you about something for a long time now” and then she said WE have been talking about THIS since YOU were in Arizona and we haven’t been sure what to do about it.” And I said “Mom, that was 8 months ago. Are you telling me that you have been discussing this for the past 8 months and nobody has even mentioned it to me?”

 The big deal she was referring to was that I had told my sister in law that I was in therapy dealing with some issues and I told her that one of the issues was that I had been sexually assaulted by my mothers boyfriend when I was just shy of 14 years old.

After my Mother told me what they had been discussing for the past 8 months behind my back and I asked hey why she had waited so long to ask me about it (to which there was no response) I said “So what?” I think that shocked her. She didn’t expect me to actually ask a question indicating that I was not doing anything wrong but although I was aware that I was beginning to feel angry, I was also a little stunned and I didn’t understand what the big deal was. So what if I was talking to my sister in law about what happened to me?

My mother ignored my question, and she plowed right ahead with what she wanted to say. She told me that my sister in law had taken notes about what I told her. It was interesting that she told me that; it was as though she was prepared for me to deny that I had said these things to my sister in law. I told my mother that I DID tell my sister in law that, and SO WHAT? What about it? What was the problem?

Part of me couldn’t understand why she was upset because so far she wasn’t repeating anything I supposedly said, that I hadn’t actually said. However another part of me – the part that was ‘waking up’- knew exactly what was going on. She believed that SHE was the real victim here! 

I realized that this confrontation was not going the way my mother expected. I told her that it was MY story to tell. I told her that I had not told my sister in law anything that wasn’t true. But the whole time in the back of my mind I was aware that this is how things always went. I was in trouble because I was doing something that she didn’t like. I was causing a problem, for her.  I was repeating something that she had always denied, something that made her uncomfortable, something that she refused to believe or to deal with when it had happened TO ME. 

A big part of me was screaming at myself ~ “Here we go again! I am in trouble for telling MY story. I am getting hell for talking about my own life, for expressing my feelings and exposing MY wounds. I am getting told off for being me, for being alive and for something that happened to me that someone else decided I shouldn’t talk about. And I was aware that even though I knew what I had told my sister in law was 100% the truth, I didn’t’ know how much of it has been twisted or embellished against me, and it occurred to me that my mother was willing to take my brothers word for everything that I has ‘supposedly said’ without asking me if I had said it. The bottom line is that as usual, my mother didn’t realize that this wasn’t about her. 

And for once I heard my own thoughts screaming. I felt ambushed. I was so tired of the way that my family operates. I was exhausted with the realization that this was one of hundreds of examples of the way that they manipulate. My own mother didn’t think to ask me even once in 8 months. But then why would she? My side of the story had never mattered and it was finally dawning on me that this fact wasn’t going to change.

Regarding what I had said to my sister in law; the truth is that I wasn’t doing anything wrong by talking about my life. Even though the old part of me was feeling guilt and shame listening to my mother telling me off on the phone, the new part of me, the part that was beginning to see the truth about the situation, was saying “HEY, why am I getting shamed for talking about MY life?” And so I said it. I told my mother that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that I had a right to talk about MY life.

And while I was at it, I told her that I was shocked that “they” had all been talking about this for 8 months and nobody ever once thought to ask me about it. This was third party information, but still they had mulled it over for 8 months deciding what they should “do”. Apparently my brother called everyone in our family to see if I had been telling anyone else “anything.” That in itself is a bit of a truth leak.

It didn’t matter to me anymore what she was getting at. I was sick of being treated that way. I was shocked and devastated that even though I was a married woman in my 40’s with three kids of my own, I was still being “told”, that I had to watch myself, that I was still being controlled and that I was still being regarded as the problem and that I didn’t have the right to talk about my own life.

There was a family reunion scheduled for the upcoming summer, which I had agreed to host. In that moment my entire life flashed in front of my eyes; I saw how my role in the family was to be a servant; how I had been called a liar and the perpetrators had been protected and therefore proven to be more important than I was. I saw how I had been consistently disregarded and I felt the pain of continuously being unheard and discounted. It was in that moment that I knew I didn’t want to host that reunion. In a weird kind of “fast forward” flash, I saw what it would be like for me; that it would be just as it had always been.

I didn’t just wake up one day and “boom” I was done with the ways that I had been regarded and disregarded. It was an accumulation of events that communicated to me that I was the last person “they” were concerned about and my courage to stop making excuses for them that eventually allowed me to have the moment that became “the final straw that broke the camels back.”

Remember that the final straw can often be what others would regard as a “little thing” and they will use that to discredit you by pointing out your sensitivities or calling your reaction ‘ridiculous’ or exaggerated; something that really helped me to sort all of that out was looking at the whole picture through the actual truth instead of looking at everything the way that they directed me to look at it. I became very aware that the way they wanted me to see things worked for them. They had no motivation to change because they had the relationship exactly the way they wanted it. I was the one that was struggling.

I finally decided that I was NOT going to be the “last person” in my own life.

How does this impact you? Share some examples of things that have been the “final straw” in your own life that caused you to decide to take your life and your power back from whomever had hijacked it in the first place.

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from the people that have bought my book. Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Categories : Family



The “final straw” for me was two significant things: she physically attacked me, and she called one of my children a liar.
I had attempted to have a rational conversation with her about how she’d been triangulating and trashing me to my daughters for months. I barely got half a sentence out. She flew into a rage, denied everything, even things I hadn’t called her on (big truth leak there), blocked my exit, and then followed me out screaming obscenities.
It took that incident for me to finally see how little value I had in her eyes.


I remember being in an unhealthy relationship in which the final straw was when I offered him a can of pumpkin I had leftover, he answered with a rude text. In that moment I realized that this was just one small thing in a long list of emotionally abusive actions. I realized that I was dating somebody just like the uncle who used to emotionally abuse me and who made me feel like I was nothing.

I deleted his number from my phone and never looked back.


Every.single. thing. You write on fb and your blog resonates with me. Every.single. thing.
I’m grateful for your words. So grateful. Today this it what hit home; “Something that really helped me to sort all of that out was looking at the whole picture through the actual truth instead of looking at everything the way that they directed me to look at it.”
I feel comfortable and validation in your words.


*comfort not comfortable


The final straw for me was when my sister told me she never invited me or my family to any of her events because she honestly didnt even think of us. She had called to see if I would throw her and the relatives a fourth of July BBQ since I always throw such great parties. I asked her why she even wanted to come to my house because she hadn’t been interested in doing anything with us for the last year and a half, and she said, “I guess I haven’t made any effort with you and thought it would be nice for you to see us all.” I didnt realize that her coming to be entertained by me at my home was making an “effort” at a relationship and something that would be nice for me. I feel like I was the family servant too. It was my job to give them great parties and holidays all the while I saw their events all over facebook that we weren’t even thought about to be invited to. It hurts to know that I have no value to them except for what I can do for them but I know if I stay the pain will never end. Thank you for your blog! It is helping to set me free!


The accusing and being yelled at for talking about my feelings, my issues. And her discussing “The problems with her daughter…me with anyone she felt like. The triangulation between my brother and sister sucks.
It took a while to stop reacting defensively, because she would get on a roll and harp on shit from when I was a teen.

I would end up angry, depressed, and questioning my right to be me, and at times questioning my sanity. Now NC 1 year 3 months.


I’ve had a few defining moments in my life where I was pushed too far by someone. I call these incidents ” deal breakers”. Since I had difficulty asserting myself throughout my life, people took this a a license to mistreat me. Sometimes, even before I truly understood fully why I was the way I was ( I was still in the fog) I was able to occasionally muster up the strength to stand up for myself when someone went too far. Some examples of ” fi all straws” in my life:

My high school boyfriend. For close to a year he mistreated me insulting my looks, clothes, personality, and there were many Instances of him not calling or not following through on plans. He also dated others behind my back. I was afraid to break up with him because he convinced me that no one else would want me. One day we were out in a group and another girl was acting mean towards me and my best friend. The next day my boyfriend was acting very alloys and gold on the phone and told me that it was because I had behaved rudely and coldly towards the ” mean girl”. He had been talking to her and took her side, even though it was obvious that she was the nasty one, and all I did was not respond to her meanness. That was the last straw for me in this relationship. I had the fear that maybe no one else would want to date me, but nothing was worth being with someone who twisted the truth which had been right in front of him and taking the side of an abusive girl. The relationship ended that night. Three days later, I had a date with someone else for the next weekend.
Another final straw. I was working in a school and my supervisor did not like me and criticized my work. I found this hard to believe dunce my previous supervisors had been very happy with my work. One of my assistants picked up on the fact that my supervisor disliked me and she attempted to get on her good side by telling lies that made me look bad. One day she told the boss that a kid in my glass swallowed an entire pencil, when the truth was he had put it in his mouth and bit a piece of the point off. The supervisor beloved my assistant even though I brought the pencil to her, still wet where he bit the piece of the point off. Her response? Oh you must have switched pencils. I looked her in the face and said oh I guess I remembered to wet the pencil too. She would rather believe the physically impossible story that a kid could swallow an eight inch pencil ( with no medical consequences) than belueve me. At that moment i knew I didn’t want to work for this person.

Another last straw. I had a friend who would babysit my daughter and put her and her own daughter on the school us each morning. The two girls were in the same class and I had been friends with the mom for a decade. I found out from the assistant in their class, who unbeknownst to my babysitting friend, was a personal friend of mine, that my ” friend” had been writing notes to the teacher complaining about lots of petty things about my daughter. I think she was envious because my daughter was more advanced than hers.. I felt stabbed in the back. She never came to me about her complaints, but instead looked to peg my daughter as a troublemaker. I ended that babysitting relationship and friendship shortly thereafter.

With my mother there were countless incidents. Because of her ill treatment of me I grew up feeling less than, not entitled to feelings, wants and even basic needs, I discovered EFB a few months after her passing. Coming out of the fog, I had to posthumously reject her treatment of me and I am working on reversing all the false beliefs I picked up from her. The last straw was finally seeing the truth and starting to unload all the garbage I carried around since early childhood.


Oops! Lots of typos in my message #7 but the meaning should still be there.


My final straw came when, after 4yrs of cheating and sexual, emotional and physical abuse, he noticed me crying myself to sleep (an every night occurance for the last 4-5mos of the relationship) and asks what’s wrong, and silly me believed he really cared and pours everything out, he holds me and we cry together and he promises to do better “starting now” and then the very next day does almost everything we had discussed him not doing and then stormed out bc I had the ‘nerve’ to point out that he had promised to change (AGAIN). I called my family and I was packed up and out within 24hrs.


I don’t know if it’s a reflection of my feelings right now, but reading your article I can feel the raw emotion in your words, Darlene. It feels so much like what I felt a few years ago and sometimes still comes back to eat at me today.

I think a lot of us hit that ‘final straw’ moment when we realize that we can’t change these people. That they don’t want to change. That they don’t care about us enough to bother making the effort.

My moment was a few years ago. I’d spent some time away from my parents before this visit with them. And the previous visit, around the holidays, had gone really well. I allowed myself to feel relaxed around them in a way I hadn’t since I was young. I felt more confident as an adult on my own, and they had seemingly matured in my absence. The first night we were talking together, relaxing and joking around. I told them about the good little things going on in my life.

That’s the point where I noticed mom got quiet. She wore a slightly annoyed/pained expression when I spoke about the positives in my life. This was very familiar behavior, but I didn’t pay it much mind.

And the next day it all came down. Like usual. I was in the kitchen alone with her, helping make dinner, when she started bringing up everything I’d mentioned the previous night. She mocked it all, mocked me and everything about me, went on to tell me how sad I am as a person and how I would never amount to anything, never find someone, never have any friends, etc, etc, etc.

And then she walked out and I kept cutting vegetables like a zombie. I felt completely detached, like my body was on automatic.

When she came back in and noticed my quietness she asked what was wrong. Ever the innocent one, she could never possibly be the cause of my grief. I asked her what the hell she could possibly think was wrong. And then she gave me one of her more popular phrases: ‘I only say these things because I love you.’

I told her she has one of the worst ways to show love in the world. That’s when she got mad, stomped to the guest room, shoved all of my things into my bag and threatened to kick me out. This is something she’s threatened since before I hit puberty, so I knew she didn’t actually mean it. As usual, my dad stormed in and asked what I did this time.

Somewhere in the whole exchange I thought they would never change. There was nothing I could do to change their opinion of me, that pedestal was too high for even the most perfect of individuals. So I took my bag and called my brother and sister to come to my rescue.

I haven’t talked to either of my parents since.

Thanks to you, Darlene, and other helpful resources, I now know what her behavior was and what she was trying to do. What she’d been doing to me and the rest if my family. And it definitely helps. All of this helps.

Up until that moment I’d wondered why I always had so much trouble dealing with people. I find it hard to care for other people. I’m worried I’m too late. I don’t know what it feels like to really be loved by someone. And I don’t think I know how to love someone else. And I really hate my parents for that.

Sorry for the novella. Feeling down tonight, need to write stuff. You know.


When my mother and brother, started on my children. I walked away, never saw them again.Moved countries, now I am safe


This article describes my situation completely. My step-father physically and emotionally amused me from the age of 6 to 17 when I left. My mother then had to see me in secret sporadically for 5 years. Then out of the blue I was invited to the house over the Christmas holidays and it was like nothing had happened. So, fast forward 20 years and I am having therapy following an emotionally abusive relationship with somebody who always puts me last (figure that) and my childhood wounds come up. I find the courage to speak to my mother about it in an effort to resolve my past. She makes it all about her and actually compares the abuse she suffered at the hands of my father to mine saying hers was worse. I then receive a letter from both of them (his words written for him by my mother because apparently I wouldn’t be able to read his writing) blaming me for being a bad teenager, calling me a liar, saying I am exaggerating it all and that my brothers (his sons) were treated the same as me (not true). My mother then proceeds to get one of my brothers involved to elicit sympathy but interestingly it’s the brother she had spent years and years complaining to me about how he doesn’t care about her, he mistreats her and takes advantage of her etc etc… Result – I’m written out of the will and now she sends me texts telling me how all this trouble between us has broken HER heart and ruined HER marriage!! She says she refuses to live in the past ;(well of course she does, it’s an uncomfortable truth) but she loves me and always will. We haven’t spoken in 8 months. I feel shame for bringing it up but also enlightened about what my early life was all about. I don’t know what the answer is, it brings me so much pain but I am working hard to recover x


It is the moment you become completely, irrevocably aware of how unfixable they are. When you realize that all the arguing, all the fights, all the tears that make you think your eyes are going to explode, all the break ups and getting back together–nothing will ever change. And a voice goes off in your head that says, the “thing” the “last straw” isn’t the point to be argued ever again. “You do not deserve to be treated like this. You deserve dignity, respect, love, kindness, consideration, humor, positivity, giving, understanding, honesty, openness.” The best you can ever hope to get is that they lie so well to you that you don’t know what they’re doing behind your back.

I had a dealbreaker in a relationship with a narcissist that I never thought was an issue. We had many other issues. Turns out my dealbreaker was going on the whole time, and he was expertly lying about it. I realized that he would do anything he wanted with no pangs of conscience, because to him, everything was fine as long as he didn’t get caught. He didn’t actually care about my feelings, didn’t respect me. The final straw came on the tailend of me watching him outright lie to several people for the stupidest things. I put all the pieces together and realized he was doing the same to me. The thing I caught him lying about was fairly minor, but it was the final puzzle piece that showed the whole picture.
And I was able to finally go completely No Contact with no regrets. The peace is amazing, I get stronger everyday. Whenever I get weak, I repeat to myself, “You are worthy of respect and real, honest love. You are worthy.” I choose to put myself first.


Even though the details are different, the outcome was the same for me. Every time I confided in my brother (exactly 2 times), he’d go straight to my parents with what I had said. He’s the Golden one, and he uses it to get their undying admiration as they all sit around and demonize me. Every problem in my FOO is caused by ME, and I am just sick of it. I finally went no contact in 2008 and I’m doing the same with my brother and his wife right now. If they blindly believe one side of the story and I am ALWAYS the one at fault, why bother trying?


My final straw was when emotional abuse turned physical,and my life was threatened.


My final straw was realizing that no one was going to save me and that I had to save myself. I was tired of feeling hurt, abandoned and alone…and this was with me trying to please these people and forgetting about my needs. They felt nothing for me, but only cared about what I could give them. Fuck them. If that language offends some, I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel.


Hi Patricia
Holy smokes ~ your examples are exactly what I am talking about! Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Elsa,
I understand your example of a final straw. Great example!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Em
Thank you for your comments, I am happy to know that my words resonate with you this much! Regarding my quote you referred to ~ In my minds eye I saw hundreds of ‘envelopes’ and each was sealed with a memory/event that had hurt me. As long as I only thought about one event, I could say to myself that it wasn’t that bad. It was when I opened all the envelopes and saw all the events together that I realized the magnitude of what I was trying to cope with.
Hugs, Darlene

Welcome to all the NEW commenters ~ It’s great to have you all here!


Hi Larae
OH WOW ~ isn’t it crazy the mean and careless things that people say (OUT LOUD) ~ Your story really reminds me of the way my in-laws were. (A story for another day)
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi D ch
Yes I can relate to what you have shared. The questioning myself part; that went on for SO long and finally stopped when I had some some space to think about the truth about what was really going on in the relationship. It was when I finally stopped spinning in the b.s. that I saw the truth.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Amber,
I love the term “deal breaker” for this! Makes total sense!
I had several almost exact same experiences with some boyfriends too and my fears were also the same; that maybe no one else would love me ~ and today I totally know where those insecurities originated! (which you also refer to in your story) Yay for reversing all the false beliefs and unloading all the garbage! Yay to living life in the truth!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi M
Yes, this is a great example! When someone actually pretends to listen and then does the very thing they acknowledge doing that has HURT us, it is SO confusing. Looking back, that is one of the things that when I think about it today it makes me actually “feel” the fog closing in. (as in a kind of “What the heck” reaction..)
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Lee
I agree ~ for many the final straw IS that moment when we realize we can’t change them and that they don’t care enough to change. I remember the moment that I realized that “out loud” (a few months after the event that I write about in this blog post) and I was so shocked. That my own mother didn’t care enough about me to even try…
I really relate to your story. How it felt more relaxed and you let your guard down.. and then something changed… Oh how I remember those times.
I think that I have written a post about that “because I love you” lie pointing out (as you do here) that LOVE doesn’t do that.
Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Glad you are here
hugs, Darlene

Hi Carole
That is awesome! Good for you and yay for being safe and free!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Clare,
Holy smokes! There are so many examples in your comments that hit me that I don’t even know where to start answering! This is exactly what I am talking about! (and the beginning ~ that she had to see you in secret ~ HER OWN DAUGHTER ~ and she didn’t do anything about it, is such a hurtful thing! And of course it is all about her! UGG
I found the answer and I have written over 400 articles here about how I did that. It takes time and it is painful, but healing is possible!
So glad you are here, Thank you for sharing, and welcome to EFB ~
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Rosemary,
Very well put! Yes, that moment when you realize that you don’t deserve to be treated that way. Thank you for sharing ~ I agree ~ The PEACE IS amazing! And yay for choosing YOU.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susan
That was also something I concluded ~ if it is always “me” no matter what then why was I bothering to keep trying to convince them that it isn’t me? They should have had a big party when I stopped trying.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Callynt
I understand what you are saying here too. The tiredness ~ I remember the total exhaustion which seemed to be worse when I allowed myself to actually SEE what was going on and the level of “hurt, abandoned and alone” that I had been. It was stunning, unbelievable to me that I had been regarded in such a dismissive and devalued way.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Laura,
Yes, that is a very serious situation! Glad that you got out of that.
Hugs, Darlene


Several interactions happened a few years ago that left me feeling once again misunderstood, blamed, and rejected. I spent — again — a few days in bed crying and feeling like a truck hit me after an unpleasant holiday gathering. I realized that I just couldn’t do it anymore….my mental health was at risk and I had to save myself.

I came to terms with the fact that the family narrative was that the discord is my fault and was never going to change (fallout from sexual abuse and neglect). It’s too enmeshed, people have their status positions, I’m on the bottom, and the truth doesn’t matter.


Thank you so much Darlene for this post, and everyone that I have read. I just turned sixty and am finally dealing head on with my mother who has abused me for as long as I can remember – funny how the “little things” that are peppered in my memory become one “big thing” when they are viewed together. I used to tell myself that the things my mother did to me really weren’t that bad. But when I view them all together I can see a picture of a woman who, not only didn’t love me, she preferred to see me hurt. She went out of her way to hurt me with her snipes, looks, silences, whatever tactic she had in her arsenal that she had used to train me from a child. They worked beautifully for her until I began to come out of the fog. Any time I complained about the things she did she would outright lie or, many times, totally disregard what she did to me and tell me sob stories about her life. She gave me sister a free pass on any behavior, interesting enough, even when my sister showed my mother total disregard. Your story about your brother and mother and Sister in Law really resonates with me because my mother used my sister against me for as long as I can remember. I went NC about a year ago but since then had a relapsse (due to unresolved guilt that I should not even own) and again, recently when my mother sent me an “apology”. Not a real one of course. Anyway, sorry to be so windy but it does feel good to put this out there publicly. Thank you Darlene for sharing your story and for this forum!


Hi Light
I understand that feeling “like a truck hit me” when it comes to this stuff. Especially when I was coming out of the fog and realizing that it makes NO sense that people would treat other people that way. As I set my boundaries over this past 10 years I have come to realize that some people have to discount others in order to make themselves feel valued and worthy ~ but that is such an insane thing to do! And since putting someone else down doesn’t actually make anyone feel “good” or “worthy” it doesn’t work! SO they have to keep upping the ante.
The truth may not matter to them but it sure saved my life!
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynn
I totally relate to the little things peppered in your memory ~ I will repeat comment #18 that I wrote to Em about how I finally opened all those envelopes in order to face the pain of the entire picture. And how they turn things around so that they are the victims, the ones wronged, or how their lives were so much worse.. (which is irrelevant even IF it is true). As for the ways they garner support from others, ~ my mother loves the tactic called Divide and Conquer. Most of this stuff we are all talking about today shows the heart of the person doing these discounting and hurtful things.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


My last straw with my NF happened shortly before I realized what he was. I flew myself and my sister (the golden child) to take care of him after a surgery. I had thought he had changed because he had been more pleasant since my mom divorced him. However, the entire time we were there, any time the conversation turned to me or my kids or husband, he would interrupt, change the topic or actually walk away. My sister was horrified, as it was impossible to ignore the rudeness and one sidedness of his behavior. She had never seen it before. Later, I realized that he didn’t have a picture of our youngest sister (there are 4 girls) on the wall. He refuses to put a picture of a woman on the wall if she has short hair and my sister has chosen to have short hair since she had the choice back in 6th grade. I showed him a bunch of great photos I have of her and my other siblings and their kids, but he wasn’t interested. Instead, he’s going to enlarge a blurry picture of her from 5th grade, in which you can only see part of her face and her long hair. I realized that though he says he loves us, he only cares about how we fit into the roles he has chosen for us. He also refuses to call us by the names we have chosen for ourselves, insisting on using only the names he chose. I decided then to never see him again. I spent 40+ years trying to please him and so much energy trying to fix him. I’m done. Not long after this I learned about NPD and everything in my life is changing.


One “last straw” I remember well was watching my daughter with her two year old daughter in a crowded store. The three of us had went out to run errands together. About half-way through our planned day, granddaughter begins to throw a fit, crying, unreasonable. My daughter stooped down to be face to face with her. They talked quietly for a bit. Then my daughter stood up and said to me,”Well, I hate to disappoint you but we’re going to need to call it a day.” So, we quickly made plans to meet another day and they went home. It was so easy. The problem was resolved. The stark difference just blew me away. My mother screamed and hit us, or stared us down with threats until we submitted. Then she would bring it up over and over again to embarrass us in the days ahead. She had to make sure we knew she was in charge and we had no choices or opinions of our own. She NEVER would have listened to me or changed her plans for me, nor would she do it today if we were in contact. I think this was the first time ever in my life I witnessed “mothering” as an outsider. It seems so small of an event, but it jarred loose so many dormant things in my brain.


My final straw was when I told my “mom” something about my dad, and for some reason she turned on him (which she did to control him nd emasculate him, and get her own way)….and he communicated that to me and asked me to not discuss him with her. I had watched a program the night before with Naomi and Wynonna Judd ….who are country singers…and the 60 + YEAR OLD Naomi was dealing in the same disgusting patterns with HER elderly mother, and it all hit me the next day. I would be in my 60s and 70s and still emesheshed in the exact same patterns of relating with my parents if I did not break it all off. My father is my bio dad, but she is his wife who married him after my bio mother passed away. When he was asking me to not discuss this , that, or the other because it would upset her…..as usual….I ended our relationships. I feel such freedom and relief for doing so! There is never going to be a reconciliation with her alive and controlling because she doesnt want to change. What is interesting about this article is that there was never any questions asked….just assumptions. Noone ever asked Darlene how she felt, how she was doing….there was no tolerance or empathy or compassion. That to me is always a “clue” in a relationship. My parents..and my brothers never once asked me about my feelings or expressed any sort of compassion. I was told they understand me, but how could they when they truly did not even know me.


Hi FinallyFree
I changed your screen name in your comment to FinallyFree instead of publishing your second email saying you meant to use FinallyFree as the name because your second email had your entire email address as the screen name and I didn’t think you would want that published!
Hugs, Darlene

PS I am on my phone at the moment but will reply to this and the last few new comments later


I have read through the comments here and I have to say that it makes me happy to hear that women so much younger than me are coming to terms with their NPD mothers. Finally Free said that she didn’t want to be in her 60’s or 70’s Still enmeshed in the same patterns with her mother. I commend you Finally Free for recognizing and having the courage to confront this head on while you are still young. I wish that I had done the same thing twenty years ago, certainly for my own sake because then I might have had enough time to find some peace. Doing it at sixty is certainly better than never doing it at all but it has made it difficult for me since my mother is well into her eighties now. But I now realize that it was due to her never ending efforts to brainwash, condition and guilt me that I allowed it to go on for so long. I have not found the peace that I am seeking yet but I know I will. Every time my mother or sister contact me the pain starts again. I recently received a card from my mother with an apology and wanting so desperately to believe her I started contact with her again only to realize in a matter of days that nothing has changed and it never will. Then I remembered something that I think I read on Light’s blog, or maybe one of her books, on how to handle something like this; send a letter and insist on a detailed plan from the NPD on how they plan to make things right and let them know that you will review it and get back to them if you find it satisfactory. Of course they won’t comply with this request as they are not sorry for what they did and have no intention of changing. This was excellent advice and I forgot about it when I could have used it. I took a few steps back but that’s ok, I can move forward once more. The sooner we free ourselves from these sick relationships, the better. But even with that said I know that timing is everything and each of us will be ready at different stages of our lives.


Yes, yes, and yes again to everything you all have written. It is so painful to realize that parents and siblings and others can be so uncaring, lying, and so self-absorbed. Then have the gall to blame YOU for the problems. Once I decided, yeah…go ahead and blame me for everything. I will take the total blame…but I won’t be taking any calls or answering notes or caring about you or yours in any way! It seems tough and unreasonable to people who have never been dismissed by family before. I simply tell them: you do not understand. You don’t have to protect yourself from your family. If they are real friends they will believe it when I tell them that NC is the best way for me to live. There is nothing good for me to have any dealings with my family.

FinallyFree you are correct in your explanation of no tolerance or empathy or compassion from the family. I was never asked about my feelings. I would express them and then be told that I was wrong. My family did not know me either. Even trying to be a fake self that I thought could be accepted was not good enough for them.

Darlene, I have wanted to know for a while if you are no contact with your brother. You are no contact with your parents and your husband’s parents. Is that correct? How about other siblings? Do you have just a brother, and how about your husband’s siblings? I am curious since my sister is my only sibling. She did all the right stuff and I did all the wrong stuff in our parents eyes. Thanks for answering. I don’t remember reading if you are NC with other than the parents.


My final straw sounds monetary. To me it was just another slap in the face- another passive-aggressive way of showing me how much she cares about my brother and throwing it in my face.
Waiting to hear my response.
Wringing as much hurt as she can get out of it.

My mother is very sly. Everything she does has some manipulation in it. Slights and abuse done to me are always deliberate and deniable, in your head ( suggesting craziness).
I am her scapegoat.
To her I existed to serve and do her bidding. I fell into this by age 6 trying to earn her love. Until the blog (age 58) I did not see it-only my own failure to measure up or get it right.
I learned never ask for anything. Never expect anything.
But when she gave my “poor” brother another new car (the second one) that was it.
The way she called and told me was a cunning way to punish me for drawing a boundry 3 months earlier.
She needed to slap me down, remind me of my place.
What she got was no contact.
That surprised her. It took her 4 months before she saw her error and tried to pull me back into the fold.
I continued my healing, maintaining my no contact. She died last Nov four years had passed. I do not regret my choice.
Amazingly until today I did not see that my letter asking for mutual respect had been the
reason she gifted the car.


Thank you for this Darlene,
When you wrote “It was an accumulation of events that communicated to me that I was the last person “they” were concerned about……” that really resonated with me.
At the age of 16 I had and on my volition started seeing a counsellor with LifeLine here and on our first session I informed her about my father’s ongoing physical and verbal and mental assaults on me. His physical abuse against me had escalated to restraing me in a hog tie as well as breaking my nose and knocking me unconscious. It was my first time seeing a counsellor as well as the first time I felt believed as I could not tell anyone else outside of my very isolated family. She asked if my mother and brother could attend and speak to her next – which they did in the following week. I was so relieved and full of hope that finally someone could help me. That was until my mother arrived home that Monday afternoon and with a triumphant tone in her voice proceeded to describe to me how the counsellor had asked my 14 year old brother to confirm the violence against me from my father and my brother denied it to her. My mother then explained to me that she did not contradict my brother on this and the lesson was that “one doesn’t air their dirty laundry in public”.
I knew that I couldn’t see that counsellor again – my credibility was gone and the abuse continued my father finally left 18 months later.
It took a long time for me to fully realise the enormity of my mother’s and brother’s betrayal of me. Even writing this now it still hurts..
One year before my Mum died in 2007 (and 25 years after the counsellor fiasco) I texted her a message after yet another of her betrayals – “Why don’t you just be honest with me for once? I know that you sold me down the river years ago and you are still doing this. You just don’t have the guts or the integrity to admit it”.
Of course she showed this to third parties and reported to me what their negative response was as she played the victim again and again. I felt defeated then, but I was starting to wake up more. I’m fully awake now.
Both parents are now dead, but their toxic legacy lives on in my brother who still acts with complete impunity as far as I am concerned and has followed in their narc footsteps.
Thankfully he lives overseas now, but I am sure that to him, I will always be the family scapegoat. Finding my own peace and integrity is really a lifetime journey…


Hi Lynn
Welcome to EFB ~ I think you have found the right place and I hope being here will accelerate your quest for peace! I am happy to say that I found it and I started this blog 6 years ago to share this with others who were also devalued in this way. I took quite a few steps back on my journey but as long as I kept looking forward, and seeking ‘forward’ I found the freedom I was seeking. (one layer and then another layer etc.) 🙂
On the other note you mentioned ~ I was 44 when I started coming out of the fog and I am in my mid fifties now. The incident in this article happened 8 years ago now. My clients range from age 28 (very rare) all the way up to over 70 years old.

Hi Andria,
I am no contact with my parents, and my in-laws. (although this year my father has contacted me asking for another chance but since we had the big talk he isn’t keeping the agreements that he made with me… so I am not hopeful that will go anywhere and I am okay with that) As for my siblings, I have one older (the one in this post) and one younger brother, and I have two younger half sisters from my fathers second marriage. I am no contact with all but my younger brother, (just this last couple of years we have talked a bit) and that is a very ‘baby relationship’ but we are trying at this point. In my case I don’t think that my parents ever saw my siblings any differently, we were all treated according to what “worked”. It’s pretty complicated to go into so I am going to leave it at that.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen
Oh man can I relate to what you shared at the end! Realizing how we get punished for daring to draw a boundary! My father in law was the master of that game. And I didn’t actually catch on until he had been doing it about 16 years! But it was looking back at that that I was able to realize where punishment is used all the time.
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lockie’s Mom,
Oh my gosh. No matter how many times I hear an account like yours I am shocked, baffled and then outraged and disgusted that this goes on! Of course she sold you down the river. (and what the hell was that therapist thinking!!) It wasn’t YOUR dirty laundry, it was hers and her husband. Thank you for sharing, I am glad you are here. Welcome to EFB; I hope you will share often.
Hugs, Darlene


One thing that strikes me is how you talk about viewing the little incidents individually and thinking that they weren’t that bad until you looked at them all together. I remember talking to someone at some point about individual incidents and being TOLD that one or two of those incidents was no big deal. When I went on to try to say how many times the same type of thing happened, I was told that I was just being picky, or looking for problems.

How many times was I told I was being negative or looking at everything the wrong way? AArrgghh! I was like a frog in a pot of water that was set on a low flame. I actually thought it was getting hot, but somebody kept telling me “no it’s not”!

I’ve been feeling so much better for a long time, but I’m really having an off day today! It’s OK – I feel sad & discouraged, but I’ve learned that just acknowledging that I feel what I feel allows it to pass.

I like knowing that when somebody asks how I am, they can know that if I say I’m good I mean it!

Thanks for all your articles and your book and Facebook page!



Hi Hobie
I understand those tough days. I avoided feeling sad or any other feeling related to “down” for a long time because it reminded me of depression which I had become terrified of. But what I was actually feeling was grief. Like you I also learned that feeling and embracing how I feel is a big part of healing too. I still go through periodic stages of grief – I mean it’s understandable! My family did this – my mother – all these people who never even wanted to hear my side and never once asked me, just assume they know what happened. It sucks and it’s sad. Thanks for sharing and for being here and of course for being you.
Love Darlene



I have also been told about being “negative” and being “picky” and looking for problems. People don’t understand how bad these interactions makes one feel and how it makes you feel like there is something wrong with YOU all of the time!

I understand about having an off day. Sometimes I don’t know where it comes from and sometimes I do. It is good to acknowledge it, feel it, and then it goes away.



It is interesting to know that you still have grief sometimes. It sucks and it is sad what these families did to all these folks on EFB and all around the world. I have come to accept what happened to me and others like me, but as for understanding why people act this way, I can just agree with M. Scott Peck that there are evil people in the world.


The final straw for me was whilst I was on holiday. My mother had passed away two months previously and I was grieving for the relationship I wished I had had with her ( she was very narcissistic, abusive and manipulative). I was also one year sober, one year of hard work building up my self esteem, starting from scratch, coming out of the fog. My boyfriend knew the hell I had gone through so I was expecting a calm healing vacation. Nothing opens your eyes to someone more than being with someone 24/7, eventually their true colours show. He drank daily, partied till all hours , and I said nothing. I explained that I couldn’t join in, and this annoyed him, I guess my behaviour was a reflection of him,. I let so many things go in the name of peace, but I remember exactly when the final straw was. We had met people for dinner, and one of them suggested we check out the local brothel for fun (?)! I quietly tried to tell my boyfriend that I wasn’t interested, that I would be saddened by what I’d have to see. He immediately told everyone what a “party pooper” I was, so I simply walked away. He followed me back to the hotel and when I again tried to explain that checking out a brothel was not my idea of fun, he told me Inwas being “f…..g ridiculous” and that I was, And had been acting like a “f…..g b…h” the whole vacation. He exploded because then he had to go back to his friends and explain that I wasn’t going. As he was standing over me shouting this, I felt like a deflated balloon, I had nothing more to give, I can remember chuckling to myself that this was exactly how My Father would have reacted if I had dared to say no and “showed him up” in front of his friends. I left the relationship in that one sweet moment of clarity and I haven’t looked back. I put myself first and said no for the first time in my life without feeling any shame or guilt for doing so, and I finally feel free. Once you get to that point, you will never settle for anything less xox


I have had a lot of last straws with my NM. This last one was the worst. I can’t even begin to explain what happened that day. All I know is that I was being accused of things that were not true and I finally snapped. I thought I was going crazy Darlene. I kept asking myself if this was really happening. The rest was very scary. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I know the reason for her tantrum was because she was jealous of the attention that my Mother in Law was receiving from my Husband and I since my Father in Law died of cancer in May 2015.
I was disgusted, I was embarrassed, I was hurt, I was angry, I was confused, I was sad, I was tired.
I know she had been talking about me with my brother and his wife from the words she was using.
I couldn’t take it anymore Darlene. It all came crashing down on that day. That day in September was an accumulation of every little thing she ever said or did to me to make me feel smaller than I really was. It was never enough. I was never enough. It was not just one thing that made me say NO MORE. It was days and weeks and months and years of never being good enough. According to my brother I am a Drama Queen who always ran away when I couldn’t handle my Mother. His wife had a diagnosis for me as well. She loved to analyze me. I don’t care what they think anymore. I was a good daughter and I tried everything to make her happy. The only person I miss is my poor Dad who has Dementia. I can’t see him because he is still home with her and I can’t be in the same vicinity as her. Sad but true. This was my last straw.


At age 62 I still feel not good enough. A series of emails from mom ranting and throwing a pity party has me in a black hole. I will get strong, I will search for every possible truth that I am good enough. I feel no connection to her, it’s like she’s a mean stalker who only cares about herself. The only time family hears from her is when shes pissed at us, and we get bashed for not bowing to her. Move on…God grant me the power to do it!! HAD ENOUGH!!


Meryl, dear, there’s only one way to do it.

Cut yourself off. Don’t give her the opportunity to even get a hold of you. I deleted my email, I got a new phone number, I made sure my siblings didn’t give my parents my new address the last time I moved. Of course, mom got a hold of my new phone #, but I blocked her number through my service provider. And thankfully there was a way to block her texts directly on my phone as well.

She will probably keep trying to find a way to get to you at least every once I a while. But once you realize you’ve removed yourself from them you will feel so much better. This may require cutting off other family members… which may be really hard… But that’s a decision you need to make yourself.

Best of luck!


I think I just had my last straw this past week. I mean, it should’ve been a long time ago, but I’m way too compassionate.

I stood up to her three years ago… or I should say I stood up to her first 11 years ago, things didn’t change, I cut off contact, then reconnected with the stipulation of her recognizing our past. She didn’t. My dad tore me down, I politely stood up to him, he didn’t respond. Six months later, first I hear from him, just a mass email to everyone in the family about a family vacation a year away. We brother took their side. My support wasn’t the support I thought it was, even if some technically they agreed with me. Others completely flipflopped. My life pretty much in shambles. I had to leave the city. It was a small city and I was living above my cousin’s restaurant, paying rent to my aunt, who had just turned on me and then pretended like she hadn’t. No matter my assertion to my mom that if she wanted a relationship, she’d have to recognize these things, she kept hounding me. I finally just cut her off, blocked her email after she emailed me the same week I’d gone to report a rape, saying that she was coming to my new city and would be at such and such a hotel, at whatever address, and can be reached at this phone number or else that one. I let loose at her and told her maybe some time in the future I’d unblock her email if she’d want to recognize the truth. Then a couple weeks later, I heard from my grandma who was also side-stepping and ignoring the boundaries I’d put up, and I let loose on her, basically saying if she had taken responsibility for herself and how she’d abused my mother then perhaps things would now be different between my mother and I, that it might have had an impact on her. I sent a copy of this email to my mom, in my complete frustration with the two of them, hoping my mom would finally “get it” and do what was needed to fix things in the family.

Okay, so, that was last year. Because my mom was always a mixed bag of validation and invalidation (as was everyone in my family), it was always hard to let go totally, always thinking maybe they’d eventually get it and wondering if I shouldn’t give up. I now think it’s just a really ingenious way of keeping you in the game, and that’s all it is. I don’t care if it’s denial or delusions, like if they’re just dumb/obtuse, not “getting it.”It’s also really cunning and devious.

This is what happened a week ago or so. I decided to unblock my mom to see if she’d now recognize the truth. After all she has done, it took quite a bit of strength and humility (if that’s the right word) to do this. I just thought to myself, if I had been born to her life, would I be her, would I have ended up doing what she did or some other variation? I thought how if I was her, even if I totally didn’t deserve it and it’d probably be too much to hope for, still underneath it all, if I finally “got it,” I might hope that my daughter would open communication, just to have an opportunity to apologize and recognize the past.

I had an overwhelming sense of doom after I sent her the email and wanted to take it back right away. She wrote to say she was deeply appreciative and she wanted to take a few days to give the appropriate time/care/whatever to respond. I still felt doom but also my emotions all over the place. When I got her next email a few days later, the overriding feeling was exactly, EXACTLY the same as the morning after I’d been raped but was too confused to really understand what had happened, when I was sitting across from this guy who “couldn’t believe what he’d done,” etc. etc. Then later hoped maybe I’d meet with him for coffee one day… I felt that my mom had profoundly violated my spirit my entire life and she was doing it again.

So after I sent that email to my grandma and copied it over to my mom, apparently my grandma went crazy (I’d blocked her, so I didn’t know her reaction). She sent some nasty email to my mom, spewing venom. My mom said she couldn’t believe how there I’d poured out my heart and grandma had made the whole thing about her. She said she stood up to her mom, defended me, and drew boundaries, something (she said) she couldn’t do before when I was younger (when I was younger, she always told me that if it weren’t for me and my brother, she wouldn’t have a relationship with her mom). And that’s when she realized how she had done the same thing to me—I’d poured out my heart to her and she had made things all about her—and how ashamed she was when she realized this, and how that’s how she knows she’s not like her mom, that unlike her mom, she’s “ever-learning and acutely self-aware.” (She wrote about this little episode at the very end of her email.) She apologized for how she had driven a wedge between me and the family (something I’d addressed). Apologized for how after my breakdown, she’d made it about her and how she was so, so wrong, how she should have been doing everything to help me (also something I’d addressed). She spoke of the pain of her failures, of grieving, but also learning. The opening of her letter was telling me how just other day, when she was in the shower, washing her belly, she’d thought about how she’d carried to babies in her for those nine months, and how much she wanted to protect them from the dangers of the world but had never imagined that would be inclusive of her.

I don’t know if this sounds good to anybody, like she’s a new woman, but here’s the thing when she actually addressed a couple of the issues that I’d brought up with her three years ago about my childhood, it was still much “off” or a mix of things, misdirections, etc. She was hoping that maybe we could take one thing at a time, if I was open to it. She said she worried that I would think she was trying to be controlling, it’s just that writing is not her forte and that she gets overwhelmed with my writing and has to look up words in the dictionary to understand. (Technically speaking, I always find my mom has these moments of actually beautiful, competent writing. She also worked at a bookstore and reads literature and is married to a man whose vocabulary used to be bigger than mine; English was his second language but he wanted to assimilate so much when he immigrated here that his language skills are better than the average person born here.) I really think what she was trying to do was see how much of her lies she could hold onto and that for our series of back-and-forths, I would whittle her down, teaching her, and showing her the light of the truth. (because, y’know, everyone knows how much I enjoy being a smarty-pants… so that would be the kind of deal we’d be striking… a negotiation process).

If the whole thing is about power, she maintained it throughout. And I gave her the thing that I believe she always wanted in life: to get rid of her mom. I made it very easy for her to ride my coattails. This idea that she could never do it before, I don’t think it has anything to do with it being for her kid’s sake (which yes is totally screwed up, even so) but actually it has to do with how the family works, where people hold a superiority, enlightened, compassionate, bigger person stance toward those who don’t take responsibility for past behaviour. If the abuser won’t recognize things, then everyone just holds themselves in moral and spiritual superiority, waiting for the day the abuser “learns.” To hold herself at a power balance with all other family members and maintain certain dynamics, I believe she’d have to maintain that stance as well. Basically, I feel like I did all her internal work for her and served her up what she always wanted—because now she gets to be righteous, like she stood up for me (and buddying up to me about it), and has had this dawning realization and she’s so sorry… but I don’t know, other people can buy what she’s selling but not me. I just felt soooooo sick. She was okay if I never wanted to have a relationship with her, understood that, and hoped I’d find peace with my past, that as I walk through my life, if issues come up, she hopes that the pain is less and less as time goes by (or something like that). In regards to herself, she spoke of her pain, of her failures, but the learning process and finding peace or whatever.

I don’t know. Some people may think I’m being harsh (specially those round her), have pity on her and think (but not say, too polite to say) that maybe I’m being unforgiving, but of course Alaina, y’know, she’s got her own path to walk toward healing, and whatever she’s got to do, she’s got to do, we understand and maybe she’ll come back one day…. But myself, I think she’s a snake in the grass. What she’s learned is how to be an even better con-artist and she used me up to the very last drop and rather than admit that I was right about everything I’d addressed three years ago, she put her toe in the water, and drew a net to see if she might be able to reel me back in slowly to a family system where there’d always be a wedge between myself and everyone else but we’d this “special” relationship where we worked through our difference, the way we always had a “special” relationship where I was always all hers, her baby girl she never wanted to let go. She really does make me feel like I’m in the presence of a rapist, that it was exactly the same thing.

I wrote her a very short answer saying I couldn’t do this, there was nothing salvageable for me here, I appreciated what she validated, it was just over, done with. I was still in the thick of it when I wrote her. I was just really sick feeling and needed to get rid of her. I almost sent her a long email I was writing a few days later, but I feel like that’s what she wanted and sometimes calling someone out on their shit is more respect than they deserve.

Anyway, I’m sorry this is so long. I’m still processing and trying to get this out of my system. At least I can know that I did everything, I lived by my own moral code (obviously way too forgiving though) and I don’t have to wonder anymore. I’m released. I will NEVER give my mom another shot. NEVER. No matter how convincing she sounds. She’s too good. And she’s done way too much damage. She has sucked me dry and she is exactly like her mom only better at it. And maybe nobody else who knows her will ever know the depths of what I know, see what I can see… but I know, I can feel it. Even when she confuses my brain. I wouldn’t feel like I have got someone on top of me, pinning me down, while I’m struggling to get up, if she was truly a changed woman.


Hi Deborah
Wow, sounds like he was horrifically invalidating. Yay for not settling for less!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Nadia
I know all of the emotions you are talking about when it comes to this crazy stuff. It was very similar for me when you say “days and weeks and months and years of never being good enough” Yes.
And yay for not caring what they think anymore. I always say “They will say what they say, do what they do and believe what they believe and most of the time it has nothing to do with the truth about me’.
Thanks for sharing your last straw!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Meryl
Sounds like you have found the right website! There is tons of info in her and tons of sharing (450 articles and 45,000 comments) to assist you on your journey to wholeness! Welcome to EFB
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Lee,
There is always more than one way to do it and it always depends on the individual. No contact is not the goal. Unfortunately it depends on the willingness of the other people in the relationship and over them, we have no choice. I am glad that you found your way out!
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Alaina,
I totally understand this. After all that time… all those years of trying and not finding any success or equal value, sometimes it is just too late. Sometimes we just can’t trust yet one more time because we have tried so many times and there have been so many games. I particularly understand your last paragraph. Thank you for sharing.
Love and hugs, Darlene


My last straw came when my mother used my husband’s birthday as a way to get her digs in at me just a couple of weeks ago. She was upset with me because I refused to see her at Christmas time without first having a conversation about the “real” reason why she and I haven’t spoken in the last 3 ½ years. Imagine that!!! lol

She sent my husband a birthday card with a 50 dollar gift card from Walmart that said “Seasons Greetings” on it, the gift I would have gotten if I would have just did what she told me to do back then just to remind me who was boss and when it came time for my birthday a week later I got the big goose egg just to rub it in my face.

My 50th birthday consisted of me journaling about how hurt I was regarding what my mother did to me with me still trying to extract some kind of sympathy and apology out of her inside of my head. My 50th birthday royally sucked but this last straw allowed me to accept things for how they really are instead of how I wanted them to be which will save me from being hurt like this the next time around so it was well worth sacrificing this one birthday to have the rest of them be happy because now I was finally able to detach myself away from my mother emotionally so now when she pulls this crap on me it won’t affect me in the same way that it did this time around. In other words she won’t get another chance to rain on my parade because I won’t let her anymore.

I think we all need to handle our FOO members in our own way. Just because my mother tried to ruin my birthday doesn’t mean that I have to stoop down to her same level. Today is her 80th birthday and I still mailed her out a card despite what she did to me. I will continue to mail out holiday and birthday cards to each one of my FOO members just like I have been doing for the last 3 ½ years of virtually NC because that is what I think is the right thing to do that will make me feel good about my self. Not raining on her birthday like she did mine.

I wish them well despite what they did to me because I know where all of this garbage stems from and I know what it is taking me to overcome all of this junk and to expect my 80 year old mother and father to do the same thing isn’t being realistic but that doesn’t mean that I am excusing their poor behavior by a long shot.

At the end of the day they lost their daughter due to their unwillingness to do what it takes in order to have a mutually respectful relationship with me. I get to move forward with my life in a more positive way no longer hating my very being. I say do whatever it takes to make your own self feel good and the heck with what everyone else has to say. Me realizing that I get to choose how I live my life now is a blessing…one that I wish for everyone because there is so much freedom in discovering who you are and how you want to portray yourself to other people. I choose to respect and honor people. It doesn’t matter what my mother does.

Peace everyone,


Thanks, Darlene. I know I’m also really raw right now. I can’t speak for years and years down the road. I do know I will never personally go back to her to give another chance—like I won’t be the one to make that step. I imagine even years and years from now, though, if she made some step and she had it all together, figured out, I’d be wary. I personally don’t think it’s possible to get to a place where they are completely incapable of hurting me—because I want to be alive, not numb, and I know that I can’t numb myself to specific people exclusively. My heart doesn’t work that way. It’s alive or it’s dead. I can protect it but it’ll still hurt when people who are meant to love me do hurtful things. I can’t undo biology. She’s my mom.


I feel for you Alaina. If your trust is gone, it’s gone. And I get the biology too.

When I divorced my first husband I said that if he turned into “Prince Charming”, I wouldn’t be able to believe it. It wouldn’t matter whether or not it was true because my ability to trust him was that far gone.

It’s hard with family. I’ve sort of reconnected with family, but I don’t expect the same thing from them that I used to. And I don’t try to figure out how they expect me to behave around them. I finally feel like I have a good idea who I am and I’m just going to be myself for them to like or not like.

So far it seems to be working OK, but I’m not sure I won’t find myself on a hook again down the road. I think I can avoid investing that much into being with them, but I’ve got biology too!

It is worth being alive and not numb, and it’s not easy to be numb to somethings and alive to others. I’m not sure it’s possible at all.

You’ve come a long way in taking care of yourself. I hope you can continue to do that.



To everyone and Hobie post #39,

I too understand about having an off day. I find that difficult feelings bubble up most often once I’m in bed. I kind of dread going to bed because there are no distractions and I’m left feeling loneliness and despair. Not extreme, like suicidal, but despair nonetheless.

I really missed my mom recently when I was going through a difficult decision by myself. I miss being able to talk with someone on a daily basis, someone who knows about my life, emotional intimacy.


Thanks, Hobie. I appreciate that.

I hope things go alright with your family. I imagine dynamics changed somewhat with your mom’s passing or at least what was at the surface was somewhat put to rest between everyone, hopefully. But I think you’re probably right not to invest too much because I think dysfunctional patterns tend to remain underneath things if they’re not really pulled out, so it becomes dependent on life going okay and no situation coming up to set things off. At least that’s my impression.


Yes, you’re right.

Just a suggestion, but I didn’t exactly word it as such. I couldn’t deal with mom’s hounding methods, so cutting them off felt like the way to go for me.

But, as you say, there’s not just one ultimate solution.


When a mother (mine) lies, then admits lying with a reason that is suposed to be accepted. When she deliberatly says or does to let me know how much lesser I am ie, the neighbors daughter is so smart, better, how ill she was, and whatever i did wasn’t good enough, or my illness was questioned or just ignored. It hurt, and yet I tried to get her to “approve” “accept” maybe support me.

Well, after being so depressed after she ignored our engagement, and refused to come to our wedding in 2015, I was at the point of giving up. When she made us move from her rental apartment in 2015, and told me to never come back , that she didn’t want anything to do with me, I honored her wishes.

I still feel hurt and loss at times. It just creeps up on me sometimes. I know I deserve respect and am very careful who I socialize with.
I feel afraid at times to openm up and trust others.


To d ch and everyone who was betrayed by those who were supposed to love you- I know what you mean. For many years I was afraid to open myself up to people. I just didn’t feel comfortable exposing myself. I thought I was an oddball because other people seemed so open and willing to share things about themselves where I was always guarded. Then the realization hit me! I was afraid to share because when I shared with my mother she would use that information against me! If you can’t trust your mother how can you trust anyone else? I am more open now but I am careful about who I share myself with. I am just starting to speak here on Darlene’s blog and it feels safe like I am in a group therapy with other victims.


Oh boy, can I relate to this.

Mom doesn’t want to hear MY truth, because my truth is different from the “picture” mom wants people to see.

I can see from family photos that I fought this all my life. I couldn’t figure out what I was “fighting” but it’s obvious from family pictures where I put myself “Separate” in the picture.


Lynn, you said Then the realization hit me! I was afraid to share because when I shared with my mother she would use that information against me.

So true! She even called my employers and told them things I had shared or complained about.

She used my hurts, fears, desires, regrets to constantly beat me down, and to sabotage jobs and relationships.

Now her and I have no relationship because of her backstabbing treachorous ways.


Dear Darlene,

I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have been greedily reading it ever since. Though I am thankful to have a man in my life that listens and really loves me, it is good to know there are many other like-minded people out there. I get a lot of validation from reading about other peoples’ similar experiences. I can relate to so much that I read here!

I have been in and out of the relationship with my dad for the past 10 years. He has done some hurtful things to me my whole life but mostly, he is emotionally unavailable and not interested in my life. I have talked/written to him various times about our problems and the hurtful things he has done to me and was always ignored. I always had the intention of trying to make him see things and make him come to terms. I eventually realized this was not possible, after lots of own turmoil in my life. People have to want the change for themselves.

The last straw was about a year and a half ago. I had a lot of distress and trouble financing my life and upon urging from my mother and sister, I asked him for the first time in my life for help, which cost me a lot of effort. I even offered to pay him back when I am able (I am over 30). I told him how much I needed and he said he would think about it. I didn’t hear back from him for two weeks (but I always have to call him anyway, otherwise I would never hear from him), so I called and we chatted about superficial topics and about his life. I finally brought up the topic because he didn’t, and he consulted again quickly with my stepmom before giving me the answer that he could only give me the small amount that he will be giving my siblings as an early Christmas present. Would that be helpful? And that was the last I heard about it. He has more than enough money actually, but that was not what hurt or mattered to me, as I found another way to get help. What actually hurt me was that I poured out my problems and hurt to him, I was genuine and honest, and he was so totally uninterested in me and my hurt and my problems. I realized then and there that he will not change and that he actually does not care about me or love me. That is what hurt. It was such an eye-opener. I called him up a few weeks later and told him how I felt about our relationship, that all my life I have looked but not felt any real love or interest from him. I was interrupted quite often but told him just to listen. I told him I just wanted him to listen to me and not say anything, that I expected nothing from him in return. It felt really good to finally get all of that out and it was quite a freeing experience for me. I told him if he ever wanted to talk about our problems and try to work on them, he knows how to contact me. I have not heard from him since. Of course I did not expect to either. And he also did not get any of what I told him but twisted it around, from what I have heard from others. It does not bother me though anymore. I finally know the truth about our relationship. That phone call was more about me asserting the truth and getting out what I needed to let go of.


Darlene, Thank you for your kind words and understanding. And thank you for this post.

Everyone: when I said I miss my mom, I miss the fun times we had. But we really didn’t have a safe consistent emotional intimacy. She could be variable, and she didn’t share much of herself. Inconsistency in a mother is tough to deal with because one minute I might feel connected and safe, and the next I am rejected. I too have learned to be very private and guarded.


d ch post #60 That’s terrible about your mother going so far as to call your employers and tell them things you had shared. That is so extreme. She sabotages you, and she sabotages herself by behaving in such a way that makes you leave. I can’t imagine what she tells herself to make it OK in her head to call your employer.


Hi Kris
Yes.. “at the end of the day they lost their daughter” ~ I chose me!
Hugs, Darlene

I was able to talk to my father this spring when he asked for another chance. I knew full well that he would likely repeat the same pattern but I felt stronger and I thought about what I was going to say on the phonemail. I laid it out and he listened BUT then he went back to the same old way expecting me to carry the relationship again and not doing the things that I asked him to do in order for us to have a relationship and to clear some of the ‘wreckage’. This time it didn’t hurt like the last time. It was totally different for me this time. after a couple months I felt a little sad, for him and for me but I wasn’t hurt and I never actually expected any change I just didn’t want to deny an old man another chance. But I am not going to teach unwilling people anything and if he can’t make any effort then nothing has changed and I am done with that crap!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Light,
I think the inconsistency is a huge truth leak and it absolutely creates anxiety.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Truthseeker,
Welcome to EFB ~ I totally related to your comments. Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Lynn,
So glad that you feel safe opening up here!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
Yeah, I think I haven’t healed yet. I haven’t built any kind of new life. It would’ve only ever worked if my mom was now entirely on the same page as me right now, but she’s not. I think there’s just so much she doesn’t understand or want to see. She probably doesn’t even mean badly by it. I just don’t think she understands herself. If she has realized what a big mistakes she has made, her response is to say to herself “that’s bad, don’t do that” and to be self-conscious about what people think about her to make sure she’s not doing that thing, except she’ll end up doing different variations of the same thing because she doesn’t get something very fundamental: when you screw up big time, when you’ve thrown someone overboard as badly as she did me, more than just saying sorry, you should be asking yourself WHY, why on earth did you do this, very particularly (where I think she will just settle on the IDEA of it being the result of generational abuse and try to move along and “do better next time,” never really fixing the problem at its root, if that makes sense). So everything just ends up translating to me as a serious danger because I haven’t healed, so it is seriously dangerous to me. To me, she really is a snake in the grass because that really is the threat she poses to me. But she’s probably just lost and trying to manage, doing whatever to get a hold on life and make sense of herself to herself, which right now still includes dysfunction. (Not so terribly unlike myself still sometimes, except, y’know, between the two of us, I’m the victim and it’s entirely corrosive for me to be in contact with her.)

In other news: I heard from the police yesterday. The crown prosecutor said she didn’t have enough evidence to go to court with. Apparently the guy is going to come in to meet the detective next month to explain his side of the story, so other than the off-chance he incriminates himself, it’s over. I had a rough day over it yesterday. I guess I got my hopes up. Even though I totally understand the burden of proof thing, it’s still hard. But at least I reported him and he can know that. That he took a risk. That you can’t just sexually assault someone, say you’re sorry, ask them on a date, shrug your shoulders and merrily go on your way…. But anyway, that’s over, too. Life goes on.

Thank you always for all your support, help and encouragement. You and EFB have been a lifeline for me.


The other final straw-

My brother has always been my mother’s golden child from the day he was born.
He has accepted all her gifts, money and support as his due.
However after Dad died, the older she got the more disrespectful he was
towards her. I witnessed
screaming, sarcasam, and nasty entitlement where he would test how much
abuse she would take from him, particularly after she had done something nice.
I don’t get that king of behavior???
She would excuse him every time.

When he divorced, his wife was 100% the bad guy according to them.
15 yrs later he is alone.
The ex-wife was remarried within 2 yrs and stayed so all these years.
She was bad mouthed to everyone including her young son.
I have tried as an adult to be a supportive, loving sister.
I have been dismissed, shamed, made fun of, ignored, belittled in every instance of contact
with him going back to at least 1985. Any objections to this treatment on my part were because
“you know how she is”, Grrrrr. As if I am in some way crazy for speaking up.

After I went NC with my mother in April 2012 I heard nothing from him.
July 4th of that year my husband and I called him to say Happy 4th and he was with her.
They proceeded to laugh at us and he made deliberate shameing statements while
she laughed in the background.
To my husband & me that was the last straw with him.
We had hosted him and his son for Florida vacations going back 20 yrs.
Seeing a pattern in the many many times I had excused his bad treatment towards me I saw we could never be in contact again.
When my mother died in 2015 I found out on Facebook. He took charge of everything,
and made sure his name was on all the accounts so I would be cut out. I was not surprised at this.
I am his only family other than his son who has chosen to also uphold the family standard.
I saw the exact same scenario in my husbands family in 2005.


Hi everyone,
My last straw with my family came when they went behind my back to see someone I asked them more than 15 times not to go and see, and then lied to me about it two days later when I confronted them about it. This was only 10 months ago and that’s when I found out about NPD on a random website and then discovered Darlene’s blog. I have been struggling ever since.

I was a very social and somewhat happy person but have become so depressed and very antisocial. I trust no-one and just hate everything everyone says to me. I hate my family for putting me in this position, especially when I see my school friends on facebook thrive in their lives and I feel so jealous. I can hear my NM in my head rubbing it in about how successful my friends are and how great they get along with their mothers. And how much respect she has for her mother. I never asked to be in a defensive mode all the time with everyone around me and I am pushing myself to get out of that horrible rut I was brainwashed into.

I am 40 now and told myself and my partner that by this age I cannot put up with crap from others (and I cannot keep reacting the way I did as a child). My FOO have a non-stop supply of last straws and until I put the brakes on our relationship, they would have been more than happy to keep dishing them out to me. No more being thrown under the bus or getting angry at anyone who thinks they can trash me to my face.

I watched “Suffragettes” last night and it made me feel so sad that so many women gave their lives for an amazing cause, yet so many of us still suffer (and many in silence). I hate how there is so much pressure on women to be perfect at everything when the foundations of our lives were/are rotten.



Thank you Darlene for fixing my name…lol. I dont have a clue how I managed to botch it up the other day!

I really relate with Hobiess off day! I never had a mothering mother….my bio mother died of cancer when I was 3 yrs, and for those first yrs of my life we lived with different grandparents or had a nanny. Then my dad quickly remarried when I was 4, and she was cold, abusive and neglectful. When I did cut everyone off a couple of years ago, it was like being free for the first time in my life. I also realized my passive and emotionally unavailable father was weak. I had lived in awe and fear of him and his opinion of me and I have suddenly realized that he was a weak man who made weak and bad choices in relationships.
I had a really rough couple of days this last week….my off days….because yes, I am free in most ways on most days…but it hit me this week that I used to run after my parents to get their approval…which seldom happened…and I had an old habit of running after others to get them to love or like me. Usually the people were emotionally unavailable to me…and had little compassion or interest in ME as a person, so I would try harder and harder. Nowadays, I dont try to do that…YAY! But…I have recently realized that there is a emptiness in my heart because I am still learnimg in all different kinds of ways to be myself and love myself, and enjoy give and take in relationships….and I never did that before. I feel a bit cheated and even lonely because now I have understanding and freedom, and I now want to go back and tell them all off! I think I am angry now in ways I wasnt before, if that makes sense….because now I really see it for what it all was, …..that I had weak, immature, passive, chidish parents ……and I am free and stronger and lost the chance to tell my buried feelings that I wasnt even aware I had a few years ago. It has been a process for me, but I did struggle this week and had those off days. I feel like I should be over the anger completely. I think I used to be more angry about the abuses that my older brother endured than for myself, so maybe this is about my personal anger now.


Alaina…documenting assault is very important because the written record is there
even if its dismissed. My husband worked in law enforcement 23 years and he says ‘always make the report.’ I’m sorry you are going thru this. I have a friend who was assaulted twice by her boyfriend and just applied for a restraining order. It was hard to see her black eye and hear his justification for it.


Hi Kris! I think you have come through so much in an amazing way! I agree with you that everyone has to figure out what works for them with the FOO. I amhappy for you for all the ways you are discovering your “new” life! ?


Gosh Hope my Mother used to call me on the phone and spend an hour praising a girl in her choir. And it just wasn’t praise, it was as if I wasn’t her daughter, that the person she was talking about was her daughter. It was downright creepy. I’d get off the phone and feel outraged.
Then I’d second guess myself about what I’d heard. Was I hearing it wrong? Now I am so clear on NM motivations. It was deliberate. She got a power rush out of hearing my hurt.

Each time she hurt me was getting back at me for being born. Like it was my fault.

I was 40 the first time I went NC for 3 years. I could not take one more belittling call. I felt over-reactive at this choice. At 58 I finally saw the deliberate abuse after reading every article in this site. It changed my life.


You are welcome FinallyFree – but this comment also went into moderation. You have to take your email address out of the author line. (I fixed this one too) but until you change it in the comment form, all your comments will be held until I fix them.
Hugs! Darlene


Finally free ~ good it is fixed now!!!
This one went straight through!
Hugs, Darlene


Dear Darlene, I forgot to tell you how thankful I am for your website. I’ve learned so much here so far – it’s such a great resource. I wish I could donate because I really support how much thought, energy, and time you put into this website trying to help others, but I unfortunately can’t at the moment. You are a brave woman and have come so far in your journey. So for the moment, thanks for what you do and who you are! It really means a lot to so many!

To everyone else who has commented here, I can totally understand your hurt and think you are all brave for standing up for yourselves. You should come first for once. I still have my down moments too and sometimes I feel alone but I think that is all part of the process we have to go through to heal. Hang in there – tomorrow is a new day!

I was always aware of my dad having problems, but until I really realized what emotional abuse is and what love and respect should be, I didn’t get the full picture. I find it amazing how when that finally fell into place and I faced my dad and all of the hurt he has caused in my life, I was able to start thinking more about the hurt he has caused others as well as the hurt others in my family have caused me. I was aware of the abuse from my dad but I never realized that my mom was emotionally abuse too, but in different ways. Although I feel loved by her, the relationship isn’t the healthiest, but we are able to still talk about it at the moment and in my opinion are trying to work it out. I’m not afraid to tell her my opinion if I think she is being hurtful and we are able to talk about the past.

Of course, I opened up a can of worms. My family is just not into talking about problems and dealing with them. My siblings are quite a lot older than me, and since our parents divorced when I was really little, we went through different experiences, but I believe I had a knowing witness in my mother, at least when it came to emotional abuse by my dad, when they most likely didn’t. This makes all the difference. I see things differently than them and am more “sensitive” and have always reacted more to the hurt. When I confronted my siblings after I felt hurt by something they did earlier this year, they were in denial that they did anything hurtful and focused on other things that I wrote, not the main point which was them. We got in a huge discussion in our group chat about the past and the emotional abuse from my father, and they didn’t understand me at all. According to my niece I was supposedly “bashing” and they were “beyond disappointed” and “it is nobody’s place to pass judgement” and I supposedly didn’t know my dad like they all do. My sisters both agreed. It was then that I realized the abuse cycle has continued. They deal with emotions the way that my parents taught them. They “live in the present” and are “truly sorry that I am living in the past”. I don’t think they will or can understand me because I don’t think they even understand themselves. If you can’t deal with your own hurt, especially by a family member, how can you be there for others? I feel torn because on the one hand, this experience has shown me their sick understanding of love and that they do not respect me or my hurt (well it is different for each sibling but I think it applies for each – they are emotionally unavailable, even if they claim they love me and understand). On the other hand, I love them and care for them in a way that I don’t believe they are able to reciprocate, which really hurts me. Instead of getting love, care, and understanding, they are afraid to deal with me and just don’t say anything in hopes of continuing the contact at a later date and pretending that all of this didn’t happen.

I really relate to what you said, finallyfree: “I had an old habit of running after others to get them to love or like me. Usually the people were emotionally unavailable to me…and had little compassion or interest in ME as a person, so I would try harder and harder.” This really describes who I used to be too! I have been through a lot these past few months but I also have noticed how much I have learned about who I was and who I want to be. I am not living in the past, I am dealing with it so that I can develop and learn to be the person who was always hiding inside of me and was not allowed to be. I am done running after others – either they get me or they don’t, and if they are not able to it is really sad but also not my problem. I cannot make others see if they do not want to. Love and respect are inseparable.



Everything you wrote resonated with me. Like you and Finallyfree, I ran after others to get them to like me. It is a hard habit to break. I believe this all started with the fact that I had to “do” more than the rest of my family to get any attention. I always felt like an outsider in my family and now I really am totally outside my family. I could not make it work with them because like many others have said, I had to save me. I wish you all the best with your healing journey.


Thank you Karen R, I agree with the belittling feeling. My NM rang me yesterday and did it again with one of my best friends I haven’t seen in years. She said to me that my friend is SUCH a serious and delightful lady and tried to punish me coz I tried to go NC but even with that she controls the situation.

Andria, I love what you wrote about being the outsider. Me too!

To FinallyFree and Truthseeker I love what you both wrote, I feel so alone.



PS. I hope you had a lovely birthday Darlene.


Another thing that happened to me which nearly totally broke me was when 6 years ago I bought my first house and spent 3 months renovating a derelict house into a home. I invited my parents to come over and surprise them with the good news and my NM acted as though I told her I killed someone. During this whole time she has annihilated every single friendship I had and she won’t stop until she breaks me and my partner and his family. What still baffles me is why my own mother would deliberately sabotage everything good in my life, when other families strive for the best. I cannot connect all of this in my head. That she acts like she is desperate to see me or have a party for me or with me and totally ignore me the whole time we are in each others presence except to force me to do all her dirty work, especially when others are around. I feel like there is not one person in my real life that understands me.


Thanks for your support, Karen. 🙂
The police officers I dealt with were all really nice and sympathetic. It was hard but I’m glad for the encouragement I got from people to go forward and would recommend it to others, too, even it doesn’t go anywhere. At least there’s a record.


Truthseeker and Andria and Hope….thank you for validating what I wrote. It is always very helpful to know that others understand what can be very difficult to put into words! It is bizarre that family will spend their time and lives trying to alienate and push away and push down a child who only wants to love and be loved and fit in, but that seems to be typical of abusers. There seemingly has to be a child to unleash their own unresolved issues, anger, pain, and sickness onto….instead of seeking out help for themselves! I am somewhat feeling better since I shared my feelings, and think that part of my anger is toward myself and as Hope shared, I was feeling alone. I feel alone, like an orphan, in some of the happiest times I am going through. My daughter is experiencing amazing, wonderful things in her life that I wish I could share with family ….but I dont have any. I dont regret cutting them off, but I still want to get to the total place of forgiving everyone I chased after and then cut out of my life. I dont even want them in my life anymore, but I feel alone sometimes, and this week was one of those times. I wish the very best of health, healing and freedom to all of you!


Like so many of you here I can completely relate to feeling like an outsider within my own family. Looking back I can see where it was always that way because that is the way they wanted me to feel. One time I confronted my NM and sister (who I am fairly certain is also narcissistic as she and my mother are thick as thieves and view/do everything the same way). Anyway I opened myself up and told them that they made me feel like an outsider. They just looked at me, which is my mother’s usual response when I try to bring up a problem that she refuses to address, and then, after a bit of silence my sister says ” well you never have any problems “. !!!!! WTF??? What does that even mean? That I could be on the “inside” if I whined about my problems like they do? To this day I can’t make any sense of that answer but I do know that the correct response from both of them should have been ” omg, we didn’t realize you felt bad, what can we do to make this better?, we love you”.

With the two of them it was always like they were members of a secret club and I didn’t know the secret handshake to be a part of it. Looking back this was always the case with them. I now realize that they could not relate to me because I have feelings and emotions ( and not just for myself like they have, but for others too). I am normal and they are not. They view me as a threat to their twisted reality.

My NM never wanted me to have anything nice. She pretended that she did because honestly,how would it sound if she said out loud that she didn’t want good things for me? She knows enough to be sneaky about it, but when it comes down to it, she never wanted me to be happy. For years she pined away that I should really own my own home. When I finally got my own house was she happy? No of course not. She made me feel so guilty that my husband and I started putting money monthly into her bank account. Crazy – yes! I came to my senses in a few months and stopped this but the only reason that I did it to begin with is because she guilted me with the looks, said comments etc. and the constant poor mouthing about how badly off she was. For example ” that’s a lovely piece of furniture you bought. I could never afford something that nice myself “. “Oh you are landscaping your yard -well I would certainly be happy if I could do that to my yard too “. You see she would words things in such a way that I would feel bad that something good happened to me. Never mind that I worked hard for everything that I got. I could bore you to tears with so many of these kinds of comments, all designed to take away my joy and focus my attention on her.

After several attempts at NC this time it’s going to stick. I have no room in my life for someone who doesn’t care about me. When I look at my husband and my friends I realize that the people I chose to be in my life want me to be happy. They are loving and loyal and genuinely happy for me when I am happy. I feel the same about them. They give me what I always wanted with my FOO but could never have. In the end what can be better than hand picking your family? A hand picked family is infinitely better than a horrible biological family any day.


The final straw for me was when she tried to throw me out of her house after being back there for 2 months under duress after losing my own home, the cruelty and games were turned up to 10 and she was being blatant as if nobody would ever believed me but during her trying to kick me out it all fell out of me and i said ”NO! Im not having this anymore!”, she ran off through the house like a little girl on her tiptoes and was in the bathroom for 10 minutes before coming out and almost happily asking me to leave in a calm and disturbing manner, her actions completely threw me and for a year after i was promised this ‘big talk’ that never materialised but during that year i started to realise the whole situation was so much more and id been hiding from the pain of it all for all of my life, it was then i realised she’d had no intention of having any talk and had been creating a completely different narrative over the real issue and before i knew it i was isolated with people giving me sympathy for a condition that didn’t even exist! I’ve had an anger problem for years and was never able to join the two(cognitive dissonance)but now i could see what had happened to me in life and what position i was in and still 4 years on i am living like a recluse with her playing the victim, it was only when i learnt of NPD that i had the concrete evidence i needed but even with that her lies ran that deep nobody wanted to look at the evidence so i’ve just come right out to everyone and told them of the abuse i’ve suffered and i still only have the support of a few but i’ve not put the whole truth out there yet! It has sickened me to learn what my life was and now i just want justice!


Happy birthday Darlene!!


Hope, #80, I can totally relate to what you say…During this whole time she has annihilated every single friendship I had and she won’t stop until she breaks me and my partner and his family. What still baffles me is why my own mother would deliberately sabotage everything good in my life, when other families strive for the best. I cannot connect all of this in my head.
When she tried to cause trouble between my fiancee and me, he told her to mind her business. (She turned so nasty and petty) He did not tell me about telling her to butt out, until after we moved, (she didn’t want us renting her apartment after we got married.)

She can’t stand me to have friends, good relationships or be happy.

She was even jealous of me being friends with the neighbors, and told lies, told all about my past….my health issues, etc.

So sad that this happened. Took me a while to realize what was happening.
No contact now.


Hi d ch,
I know that people with NPD find it hard to be natural, to find good people in their lives. For most of my life I have either attracted really interesting people or really crappy. Nontheless, I have always found it really easy to find people who have lots in common with me (except for now) as I was really active and loved all types of hobbies and I know that even that on it’s own would annoy my NM coz she was not allowed by my father to do anything other than work hard and be a house wife. So she would punish me in every possible way she could for not being able to have her own friends so she would take over my friends and destroy the bond between us. And she has brainwashed my father too(who got along well with me as a child) and he asked me to sign some papers to give my house away to them. My whole situation is so f#*@&d up I am heartbroken.

I got the whole neighbours lies too. You are so lucky to have a supportive partner, mine is on the fence. My NM even pretended she wanted me to have kids (which I am not sure I can now).
I have not had any mental health issues, but my sister has had many. On one of our big fights at my house my parents told me that I should be locked up in a psychiatric ward with medication. My NM even had the audacity to ask me if one of my cousins who has treated me terribly for 20 years to come over my house without her even making an effort of contacting me directly. I felt like a Hotel owner for my NM and her people, that she would book them in as if she was their agent and this was all just one big transaction to her with no emotion. Luckily I realized this from the beginning and stopped them all from coming over.


Hey, Hope. Anytime I got a angry upset or cried, I was accused of being not right in the head, needing to be on the Psych ward.

If I “stepped out of line” (mother’s words) The shit hit the fan.

I got tired of being treated like shit, and covered with so much dysfunctional shit!


Andria, I totally relate to feeling like an outsider in the family. They all are so similar to each other in their behavior, I just really can’t relate to some things anymore. It’s like I speak a different language sometimes. They just don’t seem to understand some emotions and how to deal with them. Reading that comment made me actually remember some things I had long forgotten – my father used to joke that I was from the milk man. And when I was little if I didn’t do what they wanted or misbehaved, they (my father and brother) said they would call up the rendering truck (you know that picks up road kill) to come and get me. They would only have to say that, and I was already frightened and stopped “misbehaving”. It really makes me sick thinking about it now.. I never realized how much harm such “little” things did to me.

Hope, I am sorry you feel so alone! I switched countries years ago and haven’t visited or seen anyone for about four years. The distance has really got to me in the past, making me feel isolated. It has also been healthy for me in healing, however, because it is not as easy for them to control me or pester me. My heart goes out to those of you (d ch!) who constantly deal with family close by who do not know any boundaries. I can imagine how hard that must be. I can only say, if it is possible, having a bit of distance can be really helpful there!

No one really shows any interest in my life or family at the moment. Most of my family is ignoring me, because I was “mean” to my sister and told her how I felt about her treatment toward me. I basically said if you can’t respect me and my feelings or even that you hurt me, then I don’t need that anymore. It is more hurtful to be in a relationship with you than not to be. No matter what I wrote, she didn’t understand, but then again she didn’t try very hard.

You are right, Hope, sometimes you just want to share things about you or your children.. Even if I did it the past it didn’t feel like genuine interest. I really liked what Lynn wrote. I too have a hand-picked family that is very special to me. If you really feel loved by people who are not related by blood that is sometimes worth more than just being family because you are family.


I’m sorry, Keith, that no one listens to you! I really know how you feel about wanting to get the truth out there. I wish I could talk to my family about this stuff but they just don’t want to hear it. Maybe it’s the same for you, but if they did really acknowledge my abuse, really truly, then they would also have to admit the hurt done to them and they do not want to go there. It is easier for them to keep on living the way they do. That is all they know. That is their survival mode. I think it takes a special person to look at all of that pain and hurt and to figure out what it means for them.

It’s definately worth a try to get them to understand you, but if they don’t or can’t, it isn’t your problem. You know better and that will make you better. Hang in there – you can get through this, even if you have to do it alone or with little support. Concentrate on yourself – it’s your turn now!


I don’t think you’ve understood, they are all abusers and have done the same to their kids, i discovered a rats nest and at the moment i fear for my safety but there is nothing i can do the police won’t even listen to me


Hi All
I had a really busy few days and was not able to keep up here so I am trying to do that this morning! ~ Thank for the birthday wishes! I had a lovely day. 🙂

Hope ~
My mother told me that she loved her mother and how much she ‘respected’ her mother but the truth leak came when she said that no matter how mean and nasty her mother was they still loved her.. and since I knew her mother and how nasty started thinking about that whole thing. What my mother thought was ‘love’ isn’t love. That whole lecture was meant to guilt me and to get me to comply with my mothers wishes. My mother thought it was “her turn” and I said no. Thank you for sharing!
hugs Darlene


regarding your comment to Karen ~ that is what I was thinking too; at least there is a record of the report. I am really glad that you were validated by the officers in that whole nightmare!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Finallyfree
About wishing you had family to share the good news with ~ I get that. Even though in my case my mother rarely received exciting news from me with joy or pride ~ she found a way to squish my joy and my father never seemed to care which carried it’s own message about the value of ‘my news’. I can tell you this though with all sincere honesty (and relief!) I have reached that total place of peace and even forgiveness. I do feel lonely sometimes. But when I think about family, I mostly wish what I wish it could have been more than the reality of a wonderful supportive family love and connection.
Congrats to your daughter ~ it’s so exciting when our children excel and what I love to hear is how happy you are for her because so many parents make it about them. 🙁
Love Darlene


Hi Lynn
Thanks you for sharing part of your story. Yay for you that you have decided that you deserve better than that. I got sick of trying to understand them ~ every time I thought I was close, they changed it up. That is why I realize that some of this is actually conscious.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Keith,
I am familiar with what I call “the big talk lecture”. And ‘the big talk’ is never about what we need to say it is focused only on what is wrong with you or us and how they think that they are the real victims in the story. There is a ton of info here in this website. I hope you find some comfort here.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Truthseeker, I did the whole living away in a different country for 12 years when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, when I moved to Europe but that was when everything got worse as I was near my NM’s family and didn’t realize she would harass me so much by phone and through everyone around me. It got really bad I had to come back home and sort things out. But as you see she has gotten to me and I feel so stuck. The other thing is that I moved away again from them (as I bought a farm and now work from home) and live 3 hours away from them, yet the harassing phone calls don’t stop and the pushiness continues. I have banned them all from coming over or seeing me in person. I just can’t bare it anymore.

Hi Darlene, my grandmother is still alive and I know her well (she lives in Europe)and she is the culprit for all of this chaos in my life. She is as evil as they get and my mother does not love her mother, it is another one of her “listen to what I am telling you so you can follow the lead”. Her mother was supposed to be on her death bed, that was the reason she went to Europe last month to visit her but by some “miracle” she is healthy and happy, all of a sudden.

I was always threatened by “the talk” and got tired of waiting for it as I thought I would finally be heard but, I am 40 now and still haven’t had the talk. So I realized it was never going to happen.


Hi Finally Free,

It was nice seeing your posts again. When you wrote about the difficult days that you are experiencing on post #70 I could totally relate. For me this is one of the most painful times in my recovery because now I have a deeper understating of all the things that I missed out on and how I will never be able to get them back. I want you to know that I have bad days too. I am sorry for your pain.

Hi Alaina,

Thnx for the update regarding your case. I am sorry that they didn’t pursue it but I was glad to see how well you are handling their decision. You are such a strong person. You inspire me.


The final straw……life and our relationships were always ok in their eyes when nobody talked about IT. If it was ignored and life went on as though I wasn’t sexually molested by my Father from age 5-16. Then it was perceived that I wanted and had a good relationship with them. When reality was, they really still had control.

It started (again) with a PTSD break down when they pushed to enter my world when my son graduated. I didn’t want them there and I felt threatened by their presence. It spiraled from there. I started realizing there had to be more uncovered dirt in the family than would ever be outwardly admitted to. I dug, finding out my Father also molested and raped his younger sister when she was a child. I specifically asked if I was the only one, and I was told yes. Another lie. My Brother put away for almost two decades for sexually abusing 2 girls in which he conveniently says he has no memory of. Yet another lie. But my parents believe he was “set up”. Because that is the story my Brother tells. There were also allegations that there were two other girls he molested also. In this mess, also finding out my Mother lied to a friend who was present when all came out about me, the extent of my abuse. She made it sound like nothing happened, like it was a one time event. I was always expected to keep up the facade that nobody knew where my Brother was all that time, well I got tired of telling their lies and started telling people that inquired the truth. Oh no……I told the truth! Upon finding these things out from very credible sources (the victims) I confronted over the phone my Father who still maintains that he failed one child (Me) that he doesn’t want to fail the other. So he will continue to house, and support Brother who is out of prison. Who is on the national sexual offenders list and cannot find work to save his life. He will be handed everything he needs. When I have always worked for everything I ever got in my life. All he could say was he was “sorry, and that I was stronger than him”. Why? Because I withstood your abuses, and kept your secret out of fear as long as I did? He should have served time also. I confronted my Mother, for not seeing or acting on her gut what she suspected might be happening. I wanted validation that she should have done more, when I was asked if Father was doing anything to me ( about 9 or 10 yrs old) when she nearly caught us. Of course, I said what I was conditioned to say. I know as a Mother, if I suspected anything that I would not stop until I got real answers and not lies. Especially that she was abused by her Father too. I didn’t get the validation I needed or wanted. As you can tell, when I did tell her at age 16 when he attempted to rape me while camping and the ladies were on a run to town. She did not leave him, she stayed with hopes this would never get out. I was terrified to live in the same home, was made to see a therapist (male) and felt as though all the family turmoil was my fault. I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone, let alone a man therapist. She thought if we all got therapy and went to church we would all be fine. No, not true. She still, was not protecting me even after she knew for sure what I’d been through. The only thing that changed in the household was the bathroom door and my bedroom door finally got locks. I left at age 18, the first chance I got to flee. As long as I never brought it up, they just thought our relationship was as normal as anyone else’s. What a lie! No, I didn’t get validation, what I got was the tables turned in me. The conversation then became how I’ve done so much to hurt her through the years, that I’m so mean to her. That she isn’t going to take it anymore. That I almost killed her by suggesting she take her asthma inhaler she was short of breath as they were here at a much higher elevation. She was deconditioned from a hospital stay 4 months prior and having issues with her blood pressure too. She took no responsibility for her own health, her decisions, that she shouldn’t have made the trip or for the meds she took. Only could point the finger at me for trying to help, although she refused to go to the hospital. For fear that they would tell her the same thing I was saying. That would be like her saying I was right, and she could never admit that. She turned a conversation that was about my abuse and neglect into something that was about her. It’s not fucking about you Mother!! That was the last straw! I am taking control back! If I want to talk about my story, then I will without feeling guilty or ashamed! I am finally putting myself first and started talking more about my abuse to trusted family members, and friends. Reading, journaling, & inner child therapy. I’ve been to therapy before and I’m taking a different approach this time. Thank you for this blog and I look forward to placing your book on my list of must reads!


The final straw for me was sitting opposite my mother/abuser over lunch, looking at her and thoughts of the abuse filling my mind. I was sitting there and started thinking, “Why am I here pretending like nothing has happened?” She never acknowledged any of the abuse/physical,emotional etc. It was all an act. I couldn’t stand it anymore. So I cut contact, after I ended up in a mental health facility. That was five years ago now. I felt guilty for deserting my poor mother for quite a while but now the guilt is a lot less.


The final straw is me coming to terms with the damage…the invalidation, the shame, the loneliness, the low self-esteem, etc.

I’ve always known that I don’t matter to anyone. I’ve always had to hide my feelings and carry my burdens alone.
My mother will always defend my stepfather no matter what he does. And the rest of my family? I cut most of them off with the exception of a few people.

There have been many times when people made it crystal clear that I don’t matter.
And then they wonder why I have self-esteem issues! Well, duh…if you constantly invalidate somebody and treat them badly that is what happens.

I will not shed any tears when my stepfather (who abused me mentally/emotionally/verbally for YEARS) is finally dead.

Elizabeth Weaver
June 26th, 2016 at 5:46 pm

The “final straw” was her sending me an email via southwest to let me know she was coming to town AFTER I had set very clear boundaries. It took me 48 years to cut her out of my life. I am a better person for it.


Oh, and hopefully no one calls me evil for saying that but it’s true. This man brought so much pain and fear into my life as a young girl while my mother sat back and allowed it.

And her actions (or rather, her lack of action in stopping him from treating me that way) told me that I didn’t matter.
She would be on his side no matter how abusive he was to me or to other people or even to HER sometimes.

I was just her only child, a nuisance who stood in the way of her “happiness”.
I’ve always been framed as the problem. Nobody else is ever responsible for anything.

The few times I tried to reach out for help growing up, my mother would angrily confront me for telling people about the abuse in our home.
She was in denial about my stepfather’s violent rages and his alcoholism and his inappropriate sexual remarks to me. To tell anyone about this would be to shatter the illusion that we were a perfect little family, that my stepfather was a kind and loving man.

To tell would be to unravel the premise on which her marriage to him is built…fear of being alone and the need or desire for financial security.
To tell would mean she would have to admit her poor taste in men and it would also mean admitting that she put these men above her only child.

In our home when I was growing up, my stepfather referred to himself as the “king”.
My mother and I were his servants. We were never to step out of line. Today I know that he has the classic traits of a narcissist/sociopath. I know many people with these traits and I know to stay far away because of what they can do.


One of the hardest things about low/no contact is that they don’t really seem to care that I’ve disengaged. There was some initial flurry of activity, but once I declined several times it was over. I told each and every one of them what my issues were, but with my siblings there was little to no discussion. No one in my FOO asked me exactly what happened, no understanding, in fact rejection. My mother asked me if I had any solutions, and when I told her two possibilities she didn’t even respond (both had to do with her taking action). Then I asked her to respond and she still didn’t respond. I can’t relate to a wall. It is hard to believe that she would prefer to lose her daughter than go to a counselor (one of my suggestions). That shocks me.

The family narrative is so ingrained that there is no changing it. To embrace the truth would mean my mother would have to question why she chose the spouse she did, why she stayed, that she wasn’t there for me, and that she allowed and fostered my siblings’ loyalty to her, to the exclusion of me. I am so hurt and devastated by all of this. I see other people running around, on their cell phones, interacting all day long..and I struggle with loneliness. No one to call and no one who knows about my daily life. Yes, I have a few friends but they have their families.

Some days are harder than others; all last night tapes ran through my head of past hurts and rejections. Does anyone have ideas on how to get the tapes to stop?



I experience much of what you experience. My family does not care that I disengaged. I was never on their radar in the first place. I can’t explain why parents and siblings don’t care, but it is what I have experienced. It did not matter how much I reached out; it was always one sided. I had to do almost all of the work or there was no relationship. When it added up to be almost all negative interactions and my mental health was failing; I had to disengage. It still bothers me. I will never understand why I was rejected. I now know it does not matter why…it just is and I have to accept it. I don’t have to accept being treated badly however. That is why I don’t contact my sister or my father anymore. I am on my way to going NC with my sister-in-law too.

Yes, as you say the family narrative is so ingrained. It would take the family way too much work on themselves to change anything. Like Darlene has mentioned why would they change something that has worked for them. I have to remember it is all about them and always has been. I don’t need to fit myself into the cracks of their lives. I was always in the cracks so when I was gone it really didn’t leave any void for them that they felt a need to fill.

Sometimes I feel sad that I don’t have a family. I also have a few friends and they too have families. I text and email friends about daily life. Sometimes I even send notes/letters to friends telling them about my life and what is going on and what I am thinking about. People seem to really appreciate the hand written note. I suppose because it appears to be a disappearing way of communication. It is hurtful and devastating to know your family really does not care about you.

I recently attended a shamanic workshop where the teacher told us we are never alone. I knew this already, but he assured us our guides and power animals are always near and always ready to help us. Some people call them angels. I have read that we have a whole light team ready for action on our behalf.

I feel better that I did a couple of years ago, but my tapes still run in my head. This is a soul crushing blow we have experienced. Please be gentle with yourself. It took years to get to this point and I believe it takes years to work through what we experienced. Don’t put an time limit on when you need to “get over it”. If people try to tell you to just let it go; you just have to know yourself that you are still processing what happened to you. This is all okay. It does not feel good, but it is okay.



Thank you for your heartfelt and beautiful post. I love when you said “I don’t need to fit myself into the cracks of their lives”. So perfect a description. I really appreciate your kind words and sharing your experience about your healing process.

It is a soul crushing blow. It sounds like you feel and believe you are never alone and I imagine that helps tremendously. I smiled when you wrote about a “light team” because of my screen name 🙂


I really identify with when you said “they don’t really seem to care that I’ve disengaged”. I’ve had NC in about the last 4 months and limited contact in the last year. The last conversation we had I left the ball in their court to take the initiative to call, email or write. I erased them off my social media though, I just felt as though I was being stalked anyway. I’ve heard nothing from them. But I have to remind myself of another thing you said too, not to fit in the cracks of their lives. The molester Father, their molester Son and the enabling psychological abusing Mother all live together and it’s pretty fitting that they do. It’s not a place I feel I want to be anymore. I just have to get my mind past the part where I still have the little girl inside that longs for a normal family. Not one that fakes being normal.


Hi All, I had one good day and one bad day this week. The good one was when my father-in-law rang and tried to push his opinion about my family to me and I stood up to him and told him in a nice way to back off. And the bad one was when I saw a friend of mine at her work and she showed me photos of her new car on her phone, I felt compelled to put my car down to make her feel good (even though I love my car). I felt like such a fool after I left her.

I also see a small change in the way I feel about myself. I even said to myself that I love myself for the first time since I was 12. I find that if I stand my ground no matter the consequences, I feel better afterwards. And another huge difference in my attitude is that I am firm about my needs to everyone around me so they can know where I stand. Also, I talk a lot more to my inner self and decide things I want or to react a certain way so I know what to express in words. This might sound weird but it actually works for me. I am still on a see-saw, not a roller-coaster anymore.



Thank you for the kind words. You are welcome. I hope I helped you at least a little.


I know all too well about the fake family stuff. I found that in my family and my husband’s family there was no idea of how dysfunctional the whole lot acted. I truly don’t miss being around the “fake normal”. It just wore me out and got on my nerves.


I am happy you are on a see-saw and not on the roller-coaster anymore! It sounds like you engage in a lot of positive self-talk. That is so cool!


I simply wanted to write that I relate to so many of these comments about how family and siblings don’t really seem to care – I speak up and hear nothing back. Yes, they are so caught up in the dysfunction that they can’t or don’t want to see reality. That’s what I am dealing with at the moment too. I recently went no contact with one sister and the other has stopped talking to me since then so I must be the bad guy now. My poor sister who does nothing but love me (but she does not understand me and cannot admit to hurting me because like my dad, she has no fault). It hurts to find out that they actually don’t love or care about you like you love and care about them. I don’t think they even realize it. It hurts, but I am glad I finally see it now and know the truth. It feels good to finally know and stand up for the truth. I am also done with that “fake normal”.


I am 53 and the final straw came at the end of last year.

A quick background. My eldest brother sexually abused me from the age of 4 until 9 years old. I’ve been in and out of therapy most of my adult years. The relationship I had with my mother was probably the closest of the 4 children in our family. Come to find out I believe she twisted things our entire lives that as of now, none of the 4 children talk to each other. One example was she always made it known that our father left our home “the day after we brought you home from the hospital” and he moved from Indiana to Washington DC. Very cleverly suggesting subliminally that I was the reason he left.

They divorced when I was 12. Visitation was not discussed or even a thing to do way back when, hence my father has had no interest in my life…ever.
The final straw with him should have been when I went to tell him I was pregnant at age 19 because I didn’t want to show up on Christmas day toting a baby…his response was “it doesn’t matter anyway because we aren’t going to be here”. But I kept plugging away until recently but that is another story.

Fast forward a few years. I finally got the courage to tell my mother about my brothers sexual abuse when I was about 22. Her response was “I always knew there was something between you and Chris but I didn’t know what”. It was dropped right there and then. I then proceeded into a physically abusive marriage for 8 years and do you think one family member would stand up for me to my now ex-husband? Hell no, they all pretended it wasn’t happening. Even when I showed up to my sister-in-laws wedding with fresh choke marks on my neck from that very morning.

Fast forward a couple more years. My mother was excited about hosting a family dinner (reunion she called it) because my eldest brother was coming to town from across the country. I told her I would not be attending and left it at that. I then proceeded to write my brother a letter to tell him why I would not be there and for the first time I acknowledged the fact that he raped me as a child. I wanted him to carry the baggage for a while, I was tired of carrying it. Never heard a word.

Fast forward again. My mother, in her eighties, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and renal failure and was hospitalized for a couple of weeks. I had to break down and call my eldest brother after no contact for over 15 years to tell him. He came to town and 3 of us children had a family meeting with our spouses, adult children and my mother to discuss what her living arrangements should be. She had come to our home to recuperate after the hospitalization. It was decided she would come live with me and my family and her home would be sold. It was not my decision, I would have to say I was out voted by everyone including my husband who said “if it was my mother this is what I would do”. I told him I didn’t think I could do it and it turns out I was right, but that part of the story is yet to come.

Her home was sold and she did come live with us for 3 years. It was a very tough 3 years. Now here is the final straw. After many, many passive aggressive acts in those 3 years and ending with overhearing a telephone conversation she was having with my eldest brother (the abuser) where she was spouting lies and things she had no business discussing with him, I finally had had enough. After finding out my sister had been made the executor of her estate and my mother listed OUR home as property for my sister to act on her behalf I couldn’t take any more. After living in and raising our family for 20 years in our home, I felt forced to sell it just so my sister wouldn’t get us involved in a court battle on behalf of my mothers estate when she passes away. She didn’t have any legal right to our home but could have tied us up in court for who knows how long and for how much expense.

December 18, 2015 was the last time I saw or spoke to my mother. She will be 88 this August. My sister and brother-in-law came to collect her and move her to an assisted living facility. Since I was not able to repay her for what she had paid for the edition that was put on the house, she said she was removing me from her estate. I guess it meant nothing that we got her back on her feet, did her laundry, cooked dinner for her each night etc., etc. Not to mention that every time she was hospitalized in those 3 years I was the one to visit her and take care of her personal items. I didn’t do this for any monetary benefit, only because I was her daughter and felt a duty. I believe my sister and brother-in-law visited her one time out of several weeks collectively.
She has also cut off my 3 children because of my actions. June 25, 2013 was the last time I have had any contact with my sister (who swore she would help with my mother when discussing moving her to our home but didn’t). Sometime in the summer of 2013 was the last time I had any contact with my other brother who threatened to kill my husband because he told my brother to “quit running to mom, you’re a grown man”. He had recently borrowed 45K from her to open a tattoo shop that he later walked away from.

When we made the decision to sell our home I wrote my siblings a letter to let them know of our intentions. Can you imagine I still, to this day, have not received one phone call or any communication to ask why, what, when…anything at all. Not a “How can you do this” or “we understand” NOTHING. So here I am. No contact with anyone in my family, from now on, forever. They can all go to hell. I just wish I would stop having dreams about them, maybe it will get better with time. I have finally put myself first, for the second time in my 53 years. The first time was when I left my crazy ex-husband and the second time was when I threw my crazy mother out of my home. Good ridden’s.


Hi Truthseeker,

You wrote “Yes, they are so caught up in the dysfunction that they can’t or don’t want to see reality.” That really sums up what is going on between me and my FOO. It took me a long time to finally realize that the only thing that has changed here is me. It hurt me too when I finally realized that they really don’t care about me and my well being. All they care about is how they look in front of other people. They aren’t interested in the truth and how that truth hurt me. When I retired from their assigned job of me making them feel better about themselves they retired from me!! My mother is stooping to whole new levels of hitting me below the belt. She strikes back at me when I don’t do what she wants me to do and then underneath all of this garbage she really does feel guilty and ashamed but it mostly comes out as fear of being rejected by me because then she back peddles and tells me how all she wants to do is see me after she just got done lambasting me with yet another one of her cruel jokes.

I am sorry that your FOO hurt you like mine did me. Not a nice feeling at all.



Today I went deeper inside myself and my internal voice said “Why didn’t my mother like me?”

Underneath the anger is devastating hurt that she chose herself, her (sexually deviant) husband, and my siblings over me. While she wants to be there in some ways…lunches, tea, get-togethers, cards, etc., she is in no way there for me emotionally and when I push her I find out just how much she doesn’t support me and how she devalues my experience.

It is hard to have such a dichotomy: a mother who says she loves me, and does some loving things….but emotionally she doesn’t understand and is NOT on my side.

Sometimes I feel like I have that two-year old inside me….crying in the attic (where my room was) and no one responding.


Hi Jessica,

I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. It feels terrible being taken advantage of. Unfortunately our parents taught us how to operate out of feeling obligated towards them that has nothing to do with mutual respect. It was so hard for me to come to the realization that my parents really didn’t care about me. You being able to see through all of this junk will allow you to surround yourself with people who appreciate what you do for them as opposed to what you just got from your FOO members. It was when I was able to develop a loving caring relationship with my now current BFF that I was able to see the difference between what it felt like being around her and what it felt like being around my FOO that enabled me to see just how sick and toxic my FOO really was that prevented me from being attracted to these kind of sick one-sided relationships in the future. Sounds like you are well on your way of being able to do the same thing from what you communicated in your post. You deserve so much better then what you got.

I am sorry that you got hurt.




The players and the stage are different, but your story is about the same as mine. I had a lot of dreams about family. It will get better with time. I am sorry that your lousy mother and family caused so much hurt and even forced you to have to sell your home due to a fear of having to fight for what was already your property.

These people in your family sound like a crazy bunch of liars. That is what I dealt with too. I got used and abused. My dad lived with us for 5 years and then went to assisted living. He is the king of passive aggressive bullshit. My sister and dad never gave a hoot about me. It is always about them. I hope you start feeling better soon. Be gentle with yourself. It takes a long time to get over this and maybe we never will. I will tell you it does it better.


Hi Janice,
Your comments are so similar to what happened in my own mind when I came out of the fog I was in. I suddenly wondered why I was trying.. it was all so one sided.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

I am just catching up on the comments after a really busy week! Great conversation. Great shares etc.
Thanks everyone!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Rhonda
It always amazes me when they make what happened to me, about them. UGG ~ Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

YES ~ I had to finally matter ‘to me’. This entire blog and my e-book is about how I finally saw my own value by seeing how I came to believe that I didn’t have value ~ which was taught to me by the actions and inaction of careless people and it was not the truth about me.
Thanks for sharing, hugs, Darlene


Light and Andria
Yes, realizing that they don’t seem to care at all that we disengaged was very painful! I agree that the biggest reasons that they seem not to care is because if they did care they might have to change something and they don’t want to. They have their priorities and I wasn’t allowed to have mine but today I do!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Rhonda,
YES exactly, you left the ball in their court… when I left the ball in my mothers court I was shocked that she chose not to take ANY action at all. (not so surprised today but that was 8 years ago) As you say, they all protect each other and if they were to “hear you” they would have to take action ~ which they are not willing to do.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Truthseeker,
I think that at some level they do realize it but it isn’t as big as their need NOT to do anything about it. I realized that I had a choice even if the consesquesces of that choice was ‘the end’.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Jessica
I understand that whole “nothing” thing… they choose not to respond/reply/ care.. and they have been very efficient at making us think it is something that ‘we did’ or that we deserve it. Realizing that I had a choice in my own life (at the age of 44-45 years old) was huge. I was able to put myself first when I realized that nobody else could heal me the way that I could.
thank you for sharing. Darlene


I find it so amazing how I relied on everyone else but myself for an opinion. It is so crazy what happens internally when you shift the thinking from what others think, to what your own brain is thinking. I am still dealing with the demons of the bad things that have happened to me but I try and put them aside and live in the moment and make choices according to what is going on now.

I am constantly worried my FOO will take my house from me, or that they will try and split me and my partner. When I was in my late 20’s I was engaged to a guy and fell pregnant. They forced me to abort it. I have not forgiven them for that but I have moved on even though I have been struggling for 3 years to conceive.

I constantly struggle with the thought that my FOO is out to get me and I really feel the stress at night. I have been running away from my problems for most of my life and now that I can finally deal with reality I feel a bit different. I don’t want that sort of life anymore as it made me so fed up, after never doing anything wrong.

Andria #107, Thank you. I still have my really bad days.

Jessica #109, I am sorry you have gone through so much with your FOO, I feel for you for looking after your NM and then she pretty much spat in you face. You don’t deserve that, or to sell your house.


The final straw was when I was being chastised by my cousin for not allowing her child to speak to me in a disrespectful manner. I used to babysit her and this was confirmation that she was setting the example to her children that I had to accept this disrespect. When she told me I had to accept this treatment if I wanted to be part of the family I walked away and never dealt with the family again. By this time my grandmother and aunts and passed away. My grandmother was the last to go and before she did had told me I would know when the time was right to walk away from the family because they would never change. My healing slowly began after I walked away from the relatives. My family now is made up of my pets and the people in my life that actually care about me.


Hi Pam, I love the bit you said about your animals being your family, I have 30 animals and to an extent they fill the void (except for the fact that they don’t talk). I never believed I would get out of the crap wheel but the healing process has been the best thing I have gone through in my life. Like you my relatives slowly dropped out of my life, either they left or I got rid of them due to their ridiculous demands. Also friends I had from primary school are banned from my life from the sarcasm or nastiness they still have toward me, or the one sided giving and taking (me giving and them taking).


Pam and Hope,

Kudos to both of you for leaving your lousy families. Pam,what an interesting thing for your grandmother to say. That must have been very affirming for you.

Hope, I understand about the one sided giving and taking. It is amazing how some people act toward you when you are a giver. Some just kind of start to expect it and then get angry if they don’t get what they think they “deserve”. Crazy.

Good for both of you considering your pets as family. My husband and I are guardians of 5 horses and 13 cats. Most recently taking in a momma cat and 3 kittens who were born in one of our sheds. These animals show us more love and appreciation than any family member in our FOOs.


Light #102
The same for me. No other family even questioned my no contact, why etc. I was shamed one time. That was it. One time too many instead of saying: what’s up with you and Mom? Nope. I walked away completely. When she died I found out on FB. They had already made very clear that I am nothing to them. I dont care anymore.


Hi Pam
Welcome to EFB!! That is interesting that your grandmother told you that! It’s really validating to know that she saw it.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


One of the most painful things about all of this has been that almost no one asked. I have one brother that talked to me; he didn’t ask what happened because he actually knows what happened, but he has tried to get me to understand them. But we live in a huge farming community that my husband is related to over 50% of the people we associated with. When he drew his boundaries, and his parents withdrew from him/us and the kids, we got totally blamed, and NO ONE ever asked what happened. We have been given the cold shoulder, dirty looks, etc. and we have been shamed a few times but not once has anyone asked what happened. My new response is “what do you think you know about it?” when someone says something like “you should talk to them” or “you should ‘be the bigger person’. What they hell?

It is my youngest daughters 19th birthday today… She doesn’t have one aunt, uncle or grandparent that will acknowledge her on either side of our families. I feel sad somedays about the way this all ended up but the ‘HOW’ it ended up part is very clear to me.

Love and hugs, Darlene


I can totally understand where you’re coming from. Once I finally realized that my Mother chose herself, my Father and even a brother over me then my way of seeing through her/them became much clearer. Choosing to stay with him, after she knew what he did all those years. She only wanted a relationship where I played the part of the dutiful daughter, based on her desires or expectations. Never supporting me in my healing. Never talking about it, to her meant all was well. But when I did want to hash things out, I was the crazy one who needed to see a psychiatrist and I still never got any answers that satisfied me. It was always “I didn’t know”, placing her head in the sand is her thing. Even though she suspected and questioned she never acted on them. From my Father I got lies and then he acted like the wounded party all the time. My brother goes with the story of being set up, having no memory of the girls he molested. I’m slowly working through things, and I will get there. The part that has been nagging me lately is they don’t seem to care that I went no contact, and if there’s ever a medical necessity for me to be notified of that I will be completely shut out. When I went NC, I stipulated I still wanted to know about major things that would arise. That’s there way of “punishment” to me. The hurt little child inside me still wants a family who cares about her. But the adult has to realize you don’t need their kind of caring.


Rhonda, I can relate to your previous posts #97, #126 e.g. the tables being turned and they blame you, that you are the cause of the family turmoil, the minimization and distortion and lies.

One family member does the “punishment” thing by not informing me of key things as you describe. She’ll even tell me that she’ll let me know something, then purposely not tell me. This kind of thing turns me into someone I don’t really want to be, that is, more devious…so I might say “yes” to her, then make sure to find out some other way.

When I disengaged from my family I asked my primary doctor to be my emergency contact (for medical emergencies) and she agreed. While not the same as what you are describing, I wonder if there is a work-around for you…maybe not because of HIPPA laws.


Darlene, HAPPY 19th BIRTHDAY to your daughter!!!!!!!!! That is sad that she doesn’t have extended family to celebrate her on her big day. Maybe my post will add a little light to her birthday. May all her dreams and wishes come true!!! My kitty says meow to her.

^ ^
____* & & *____
_____* *_____
* meow *
* *
* *


Aww, my illustration didn’t translate well. It started out looking like a cat.


Hi Darlene, Happy 19th Birthday to your daughter. Your family and relatives are not a part of your life or your daughter’s life but isn’t that a good thing? The dream of having a loving happy extended family is not a reality for any of us with dysfunctional FOO. I feel for you and the beautiful times your daughter is missing out on due to your circumstances. At least she won’t have to feel any abuse from them, there is a silver lining in this ugly situation. Cheers xx


Hi Light #128, I love your kitty cat pic!!! Meow xx


Even though I’m not a big boxing fan, I am fascinated by the story of Muhammad Ali. He was quite a lightning rod for his community and the world. Through his poetry, theatrical manner, and incredible physical skill, he challenged people and their beliefs. Here’s an uplifting quote that I find crystallizes the outlook I want to have. I can hear his voice now, spoken calmly and with a matter-of-fact delivery:

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

and a funny one:

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”



Darlene, you are absolutely right. I think that is the truth that hurts the most, and what everyone else has been talking about. It’s the truth that is for me the most difficult to accept. I always had my own “reality” of what I thought my family (excluding my dad) always was. I cared and loved them so much and when I finally got out of that fog you are always writing about and saw it wasn’t so, I didn’t want to see it. I really fought against it and was really hurt for half a year. I was an emotional wreck. It’s painful to be rejected. And it is sad that they just don’t care enough about you to even try to understand. To work on understanding. But then they would have to look in the mirror, and they don’t even want to face themselves.

The pain is making me stronger though – dealing with it makes me learn more about me and the people in my life. I am beginning to recover from this and with each day accept it more for what it is. I think it is like the grieving process – it just takes time. Time and hard work on my part. It helps to know that I am not alone.

Light and Rhonda, that is how my family works too. I can totally relate to that. And I really appreciated your quote about freedom, Light. This is what the healing process is all about.


Wow, lots for me to comment on with these last few posts. Darlene, happy belated birthday to your daughter. I liked being 19…I felt so grown up, but I really wasn’t! I don’t have children, but I understand your sadness about your daughter not having extended family. She knows the reason and I know you don’t blame yourself and she knows how it happened and she doesn’t blame you either. If I lived near my FOO and had all those close family ties; my experience would be the same. The person on the “outs” is always the problem and the scapegoat. I love your new response: “what do you think you know about it?” Gives that person something to chew on for a while!


You said it well: “the hurt little child still wants a family who cares about her, but the adult has to realize you don’t need their kind of caring.”


I live in Kentuckiana. This is what the Louisville, KY metro area including the communities of Southern Indiana is called. We lived in Louisville, KY for ten years. We now live in Southern Indiana about 20 miles from downtown Louisville. We have the Ali Center in downtown Louisville. It is a cool building facing the Ohio River. I knew that Ali was a big deal in the world. There were other cities that wanted the Ali Center, but he insisted that it be in Louisville. But I became totally fascinated that the world came to Louisville for his funeral. They broadcast the whole funeral procession through Louisville, and the memorial service on all of our local channels. All the network news people were broadcasting from Louisville the week of the funeral. It was very joyful. Those quotes you posted from him are very good. He definitely was a one of a kind type person that only shows up once in a great while on earth. I appreciated him in life, but now in death he truly is “the Greatest” to me.


Your message actually brought tears to my eyes ~ thank you so much. Some days are just a smidge harder than others.

Thanks EVERYONE for the birthday wishes to my daughter. 🙂 I appreciate all the shares around this subject.
Hugs, Darlene


My NM rang me yesterday and a friend of mine asked me what I did for my parents to act up to me and hide important things from me. And for the first time I saw clearly and said :”don’t blame me for the way other people act, react or talk”…I felt wonderful that I didn’t take the blame for them. Normally I would get really upset and take it personally but seeing through the fog is so new to me. It still hurts that anyone can think that they can pin these things on me but now I wipe my hands from what other people do. It really makes my life less complicated.


The last person that matter surely resonated through my life. The last thought! The last one to know! The ignored and shunned one until it is convenient to be acknowledged!

At age fifteen I was raped and impregnated. My parents adopted the baby and raised him in a lie as my brother and they adored him. For that, I am very thankful! The family already had a dysfunctional situation. I was also born partially deaf and used hearing aids. My mother over protected me and my sister had favor as the perfect child. My father had little interest and was gone a lot. When he was home there were a lot of hostile arguments. Both parents berated me but my father more. Too many details to list. My parents raising my son became a twisted knot of dysfunction in the family for 43 years! I married and had four children who have all gone on to college and are grown now. At age 58, I had my breaking point. A misunderstanding developed which involved my husband and my brother who still did not know the truth about his life. There was so much manipulation and hatred coming at me, my husband and my four grown children. As usual, I was the scapegoat. Again, we were being excluded from family events and talked about behind our backs. I decided that I had to break from my extended family. I decided that my son would know the truth about his life. I decided that I would expose the lie. I counted the cost! I was prepared to walk away from my parents and sister, and yes, even, my son/brother. I had to tell my other four children as well. Everyone related to me knew the truth about my life and my son’s life. He was in his mid 40’s at the time. He actually accepted the knowledge very well and we have a great relationship today. But he is not close to my parents anymore because they betrayed him after I told him the truth. He has broken close ties with the extended family. My family has nothing to do with me. Actually, I don’t have anything to do with them. They hated that I told the truth to my son and about many things and they cannot deal with it. I wish I had done this when I was younger. My life situation has affected my health. It is a real struggle even now to have a clear identity of who I am. I am a chronic people pleaser. I am 64 now and the last six years have been hell. I am coming out on the other side now. Maybe in time to enjoy the rest of life with more peace. I have been very fortunate, however, with the comforts of life that I have and a good man. Our four grown children are happy to have their uncle as their half-brother and love his family. Has the knowledge affected them? In many ways. They struggle with animosity toward my extended family and will have nothing to do with their grandparents. My understanding grows daily about how to care for me! I don’t feel like I am exposed anymore they are! I don’t have to struggle anymore to protect at all cost “the lie!” I exposed it and set me and my son free! I am no longer the last person that matters!


Darlene, I am happy that perhaps I provided just a little bit of comfort to you. You are there for us so often…I’m glad you came to us to tell us how you were doing on your daughter’s birthday.

My therapist told me that while it can get so much better I’ll still “feel it”, and I am finding that to be true. Maybe you do too.



I cannot imagine all the pain you had to endure regarding the situation with your son. You are one strong lady!! I get what you are saying when you talked about not knowing who you are. It does take a toll on our health. I wish I knew then what I know now 30 years ago. Sometimes I say to my self “is this really my life???” It was all just so sick. My heart goes out to you and your son along with the rest of your immediate family that cares about you and I say the heck with the one’s that don’t. I have that same sick dynamic going on with my FOO too.

Peace and hugs to you,


Hi Light!
Yes, you did! I felt heard and I did feel comforted. As for what your therapist said, I can say that I still “feel it” but it isn’t the same as before at all. I feel a different level of feelings. The pain isn’t bad anymore, but the sadness is sometimes intensified. I will take this new level any day!!! I avoided ‘sadness’ like it was the worst thing on earth all my life, thinking it was self pity ~ but it never was! Today I know when I feel sad, it is grieving for what could have been and for the truth about what has been.
Hugs, Darlene


Kris and Andria,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I don’t know that I was taken advantage of but the more I think about it, it is probably true. I remember when we had the conversation in our family about my mother moving in with us and the 2 siblings that were present both thanked me profusely for taking her in. I’m sure it was because neither of them wanted to do it since she is now in assisted living after I asked her to leave.


Thank you so much for your work here and your kind words as well. When I read your last entry to Light it really hit home with me. Grieving for what was and what could have been is exactly how I feel. When I am around families that have normal, healthy relationships I really have to watch my emotions and not get too depressed. History has been made and I cannot change it. I have a wonderful husband and 3 terrific adult children and am so grateful for all of them. I wish I had gone NC years ago with all of my FOO like I did for 15 years with my oldest brother. But again, history cannot be changed and I strive to live in the present and look to the future to a better life.

I used to pray for God to take me in an accident or with an illness because I could never take my own life, no matter how much I wanted to, and leave that legacy for my kids. I’m now glad he never answered that prayer. I do, however, tell my husband if I go before him please celebrate my passing. I will at least be free from the pain my FOO has inflicted my entire life.

Bless you all and I am grateful for hearing everyone’s life situations. It finally feels like someone really understands me and validates to myself I am not crazy.


Hi Jessica, I know you didn’t direct your words to me but the whole “praying to be taken” really hit home for me. For so many years I felt so trampled on and hopeless and I didn’t want to live. Like you, I am now glad that didn’t happen. 🙂


Hi Jessica,

What you said really struck a chord with me too. I remember lying in my bed, as early as 12 years old, constantly imagining my self in some awful car accident, lying in the hospital bed with sand bags on both sides of my self so I wouldn’t be able to move due to my punctured lung… along with my leg elevated in a cast!!! Now I realize I was dying for some attention and that was the only way that I knew how to get it even if I was the only one who knew about it.

I attempted suicide at age 35 by slitting my wrists. It was a pathetic attempt but one none the less. I too pray for cancer but I really don’t want to die. Thank goodness God isn’t going to answer that prayer!! When I read your post it felt all too familiar to me. Unfortunately, I think thinking of ways to kill ourselves is a commonality that we recovering abused share. Glad neither one of us succeeded!! Also, different disorders have suicidal ideation as one of their components. I know for me having DID and aspects of BPD for that to be true.

Here’s to having happier thoughts in the future!!



Hi Everybody:

I don’t know when I can actually recall a single event where I reached my last straw breaking point. It’s hard for me but I think that I’m strong but then the past memories come up and I need to come back to this site. If I had to define a past moment when I knew that my Narc Mom was unsafe would be at the age of maybe four years old. I can remember my NM beating me up and me looking up at her in horror. I was in preschool/kindergarten? and the teacher had a weekly lesson where the class was taught that physical hurt was either one of two ways, either being an accident or on purpose. The teacher talked more about how you would you feel if you were in this other person’s shoes for physical abuse. So here I was as a young child sitting on my dresser and my mom was after me and I looked at my NM in horror. Then came the realization that she was enjoying this and did not care about my physical or emotional pain. After my NM left my bedroom, I started crying because it was safe for me. I realized that my NM was basically crazy and could not feel any love at all. It was up to me to basically parent and raise myself.

But then there is more. I wanted to believe that my father was a good man and viewed him with a hero status. My father was not good since he let a child, me, take the abuse from my crazy mom while he was watching TV and couldn’t care less. There are too many incidents and stories growing up that I could write a book.

Saturday was very bad for me. I try not to communicate much with the NM and Narc Cousin but they decided to drop by my house and harass me just because they can. I heard a pounding on my front door and curiously opened the door and they were both at my door. I thought it would be safe to let them both in for a few minutes.

The first thing that this NM did was verbally assault me for my weight. Yes, I admit to being overweight but I am not morbidly obese. My NM has always been mean toward the fat people. When I was a kid, my NM would point and laugh at fat women in front of her like when we were at a grocery store. She loves to make jokes about the fat women in her family, since it gives her a sense of superiority. Who the heck cares? Why,oh why, do these Narc people love being nasty toward fat people? She was screaming at me for being overweight and that I would die of a heart attack as a young adult…..yeah, right. So, I had to put up with her yelling at me and insulting me for my weight issues. She looked like the very devil yelling loudly, “You need to lose weight” and “You look ugly” and “You’re getting older and your body looks square”! Then she likes to show off saying how she has lost even more weight and needs to take in her pants size since they’re too big for her! This woman is now 83 years old and do you think that anyone would give a care about her size?

I ask for any comments here regarding why are all these Narc people so angry and mean toward obese people? Who cares what people look like? I have been told many times by others that I have like above average looks, but that my being overweight ruins it. I don’t know why people are so obsessed with women having a so-called “pretty face” but saying that you’re not that good looking unless you can reduce.

I am very metaphysical and most of my true blue friends are like me. Many years ago, I had a BFF named Linda, who moved back to Oregon, and she was a gifted psychic who did volunteer work at our local police department for finding missing persons. Linda tried to tune into my NM situation and she said that I had built up a layer of protection for my NM with being slightly overweight—and now I am heavier. My friend, Linda, said that I carried this extra weight in order to not look so “pretty” so that my NM would be too jealous. I have read stories about the sexual abuse victims and others who had weight issues due to not wanting to become too attractive. In other words, it was not safe to be the real you. I thought that the weight issues were only for the sexual abuse victims but I guess that other kinds of abuse can lead to this issue. I am also a fan of the youtube channel by Ollie Mathews and when he started the channel he was rather heavy. He joined a gym and changed his diet, but he also cleared up a lot of his past memories.

I think that I am holding pounds of pain. My Linda friend also told me that when my mom has passed away, then it would be much easier for me to reduce. (Note: I do not say “lose” weight because with law of attraction work when you lose something then you must find it once again).

I do have many hopes and dreams for the future. A big dream is finally reaching my goal weight but I’m not obsessed about it. I want to take off a few pounds but I may not reach my goal weight until my NM has passed away.

There was NO love or friendship with either one of my parents. My father only viewed me as an academic robot going off to college someday. He never cared about me if I was happy—LOL! He was never a real father who cared about me if I was invited to the school prom with a date or had friends or social skills. My NM was terribly jealous of me and that is a big reason why I was abused by her.

I have lots more to say. I thought that I was being strong for a long time but I’m falling apart again. I want a new job soon, hopefully by fall, since my company cannot offer any more work. BTW: My NM also makes jokes about my lack of a high-paid job although I have a BA Degree. I know that I can turn my life around with a better job, and new man relationship.

I have very low contact with my NM and NCousin but I can’t control other people’s remarks and actions. I will be free one day after she dies. My spiritual practices get me through the hard times and that is the most important thing for me–even more important than meeting any new romantic relationship and I know that will happen, too!

Please share any comments here. I really have nobody to talk to about these issues and the friends do not want to hear it. I appreciate sharing any thoughts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Blessed Be,




I am so sorry that you got all that abuse from your mother on Saturday. Now you know that it is never safe with them. I fully dislike people who make fun of overweight folks. There are always the type of people who want to act superior to others and of course this is an easy way to do that!

I know how you feel about having no love or friendship with the parents. I was only useful to my dad if I could do something for him or be something he wanted me to be. My mom was just not a nice person on many levels.

I have no contact with my family (my sister and father) and I had low contact with my sister-in-law, but I will put no contact into position this year. I have not seen or talked to my sister-in-law since Christmas and she lives 10 miles from our home. She is one of those people who always is better than everyone else. I say good for her. LOL

I hope for you a new job and a new love life. You can’t control people’s remarks. How I handle this is I break off the relationship or I go low contact. I have lost friends since better learning how to draw boundaries. These people were not good friends anyway. They just used me to get something out of me. I don’t want anyone to treat me like this again.

I understand how friends do not want to hear it. I have a good friend that has always seemed to have her own relationship problems going on. A few years ago I was going through a big shit storm with family on both sides and it was the holidays. She said she could not take my negativity. I know I was ranting about my crappy family. So she just shut me down. I still am friends with her and I like her, but in the end I know she is not the person to lean on. I believe she is not strong enough to carry even her “load”. So I understand how that can go with friends. That is why EFB is so important to many of us.

Take care Yvonne. You know it will get better, but it is hell going through this crap with a cruddy family.


Hi Yvonne, I am sorry you are having a bad few days. It seems like it was triggered by the horrible visit with your family. After painful encounters, I used to have multiple days in bed feeling like a truck hit me and crying and my therapist would comment about how much of my energy was going toward this, and how draining it all was. For me the answer was very low (almost no) contact. I only see my mother at group gatherings where we might exchange one or two niceties ~4x/year. I also make sure I have a way to leave and need to keep reminding myself to lower my tolerance level for pain. Some days I feel guilty and miss them, especially my mother, but I remind myself of what she/they did, and visualize what it would be like to go back, and I know it won’t work for me. It’s probably not politically correct, but I also started giving it right back when I was insulted. I still have sad days too, and the rejection is never far from my mind, so the solution isn’t for me isn’t perfect.

I too understand how friends don’t want to hear it. I’m often lonely and wish I could talk about it more with friends but they are busy with their lives and when we only see each other occasionally it doesn’t feel right to talk too much about it.

As for why Narc people love going after overweight people: my hunch is that if it wasn’t weight it would be something else. Anything to pump themselves up. When I think about weight reduction or any positive changes, I believe that you (or anyone) are free to fly without others’ OK or permission or knowledge. You are your own person on this planet, independent and autonomous. You’ll know best if/when it is time. Part of me wants to say you could consider doing it now as a big FU!

I hope you feel better soon.


Hi Yvonne,

I believe the reason narc people target overweight issues is they feel it is an easy target. These people are very insecure deep down and the only way they can make themselves feel better (whether they know it or not) is to put other people down.

I have had a body image problem my entire adult life. I also don’t like the fact that the media portrays women as beautiful only if they are a size 0. I don’t really think I am overweight but it is something I think about every day and sometimes obsess over. The older I get (I am 53) the less I want to worry about it. I say “want to worry about it” but I still do. It is a work in progress. As long as you are healthy who gives a damn what you look like. As long as you are happy with yourself i.e. a good person, decent,caring etc. who gives a damn about the outer package.

Which brings up another point. I have found for myself that the only way to really be happy is to find it in yourself. I used to look for approval specifically from my husband since I didn’t have many friends. (I think being in such a dysfunctional family limits your ability to learn how to make and be a friend). One day, for some reason, it clicked with me “why am I waiting for him to say “”I’m proud of you for …”” when I thought, you know what, I am proud of myself!!” I don’t know what sparked it but it has been an epiphany. Now, when I do something to be proud of, I silently congratulate myself and then carry on. It feels good. I never got any positive feedback from either of my parents so I give myself positive feedback now when I do something I am proud of. It works. Some call it self talk but it can be a good thing.

I have also found just walking improves my mood. Even if it’s just 15 minutes in a day, it has a beneficial effect on my mental status. I try to move everyday, some days are better than others. However I always feel better after a walk, even a short one.

I hope some of this might resonate with you. I hope you feel better about yourself soon and realize there is only one you. If they don’t love you for who you are then too bad for them. It is their loss.


Hi Andria, Light, and Jessica,

Thanks so much for your kind support. Believe me after a bad experience over the weekend I felt very shook up over things. I started to question my sanity as if there is truly something wrong with me. I know that I am a polite and quiet person and these Narc people simply enjoy terrorizing others. It seems right that if these Narcs cannot insult someone about their weight, then they will find another issue.

My father, with no personality, always took my mom’s side. He actually joined her by laughing at obese people. Even when I was a kid I just wished that both of them would stop. I have never believed that being a tiny size according to the fashion industry made someone a “beautiful” woman, just a smaller size. There are certainly more plus sized models featured in advertising. In case you are wondering about me, I am like 5’3″ with wide bones—shoulders and hips and a large bust–like an hourglass figure, and the women in my father’s family are built like me. I am considered obese,but not morbidly obese and when I reach goal weight then I will be a slender Misses Petite size 10/12 or maybe a size 14 due to the style. I will never be a “perfect” Misses size 6 or whatever due to my wide shoulders/hips/large bust, but I would not “look” fat. Most guys could not guess my dress size. I want to get back in shape and take off a few pounds. In the future, I may join a formal program like Jenny Craig.

I know that the psychological and emotional reasons play a big part with weight issues. Abuse victims can easily have issues with weight and addictions. The extra weight is like a shield or a wall of protection. I consider myself lucky that I only have weight issues and I’m not trying to quit smoking or deal with a serious drug or alcohol problem affecting your mind. There were periods of serious past depression issues where I ended up over eating, like self-medicating.

It’s only a matter of time before my NM passes away and she is 83 years old going on 84 this year and not in the best of health. I really don’t care about pleasing my NM and I’m not afraid of her. I care about my own health and fitness. I would love to be a smaller size but I have never been a fashion-plate woman, just wanting to make shopping easier!

I know that I will find a new job soon like this fall and it’s all for the best. My job was too unstable and I worked hard for the bonus pay and overtime. There was too much stress which made me lose sleep while not eating regular meals. I am not worried about finding a new job or relationship. It’s amazing to see how far that I’ve come in life. When I was a teenager, I could never see my future and there was too much fear. It’s been a rocky road for me and there have been certainly times when I could have done things more elegantly, but I have survived! LOL! My NM and family wanted to destroy me but I am still here.

I must catch up on all my EFB reading. I enjoy reading everyone’s stories here and I do learn a lot.

Blessed Be,



Thank you Darlene. That’s so much harder living in the middle of it.
My mother tried to say my grand kids were probably not mine. That their mother was sleeping around. She even tried to take that from me. They met her once.
In the group photo you should see her nasty expression.

Three yrs after I married, in 1977 we moved 1300 miles from both our families. We went to live in FL where we both wanted to live. At the time, for me it was not about getting away from FOO. For my husband it was. I never saw the light until I read your posts in 2011. It was immediately apparent to me that I was a scapegoat,not a bad person, not a problem, not a crazy person. So glad that thru all those years (not even having a phone til 1987) my contact was minimal. Even so at each interaction I was the servant, that’s the only way I was seen.

I can not even wrap my head around my mother’s motivations.
When I stood up to her, was it like: “well she cant be allowed to state an opinion or hold me accountable, I must crush her and hurt her in a way that’s deniable and yet will have the most effect”? She did. And I did. I reacted very emotionally to her deliberate action. I wonder, did she feel satisfied? Back in control? I think she did. But she did not expect full no contact. Within 5 months she was trying to pull me back with chatty letters and cards. When she died last year I only felt relief. With understanding (thru this website) came the realization that I never wanted to see her again in this life.


Hi All,

I forgot to add a great quote I found on facebook:

“The best curve on your whole body is your smile!”

How true!

Yvonne )0(


Hi Karen R, OMG I understand what you say when said how “nasty” your NM looks in photos, mine looks possessed. Like something has taken over her and she has no control over her expression.
It’s funny how much time we waste on our FOO and how much they got away with until the end straw.

Yvonne #144, I love what you wrote about weight, it has been such a huge issue for my NM. I was anorexic for most of my childhood up to my 20’s and it was all due to my NM wanting to show me off to the world, as I am tall and my sister is the heavy boned one. I hated eating and I hated dinner time at the “family” table. I now live in my own home and enjoy food and have gained weight compared to the 45 kilos I was as a child. So the last time I was at my parents house my NM called me “fatso” even though I am only one size heavier than her.

I have a huge problem with people who lie, they lie all the time for things not necessary. Every time I talk to someone either in person or on the phone I now can see right through them. I am even more guarded with what I say to people as I hate the backlash and sarcasm from them. Why do people say things for the sake of saying something or to get a reaction? It really frustrates me.
Cheers xx

Jennifer Johnson
July 13th, 2016 at 5:08 pm

We all have our events of awakening. Mine was when my dad was dying, and my mom and sister barely kept me up to speed on how he was doing. They will never call me. I have to always grovel and call. My dad never asked me to come, and they just kept telling me how I was a horrible person not to go and see him. School was about to start, I’m a teacher, and my daughter is young and did NOT want to see her grandpa like that. I made this decision, because it was the right one for my family. Ps…we live cross country. They made the decision to move to FL. We did go to the funeral, but I’ve gone NC, because the last conversation was my mom telling me how horrible I was that dad begged for us to come and that I need to stop talking about what happened to me…that everyone thinks it’s a big joke, how I was treated. She was so abusive just in that one call. She said That I must have a mental issue just like my birthmom does. I hung up before she got worse, because it didn’t seem like she was stopping any time soon. It was all very degrading and disappointing, and I’ve finally had enough. I’m in the process of writing my story down one last time, and I’m going to burn it and move on. I don’t belong to that anymore. God bless you all in your journeys.


Weird and upsetting encounter at my Saturday Job this morning had me sitting beating myself up and then a little voice reminded me of this article.

Just re-read it and the comments and am starting to feel a bit better, thank you Darlene and everyone for sharing their stories, really helpful right now.

I will write this morning’s incident down here if that’s ok to help me really see the details and remind me in the future.

So, arrived at my saturday job at a local cattery this am only to be told that i’m not needed today and that i’d been sent a message.

Last week I was asked if i could stay all day & take care of the cats & cattery as the owners were taking their pedigree cats to a show. I was delighted as I adore cats so no better way to spend a saturday imo.

The woman who owns the cattery also works in my office (different company but same building) and we have quite a friendly relationship (or so i thought) As last saturday was busy we agreed she’d come & see me at the office during the week to go through feeding schedule etc.

Well, I heard nothing & each time I made reference to today she changed the subject. That should have been a major clue I guess but just figured we are all busy and we’d go through everything before they left for the show today.

Anyway, got to cattery and was told not needed today, all cats were cleaned & fed already & didn’t i get the message? Asked if she’d text me as there was nothing on my phone? Got no answer to that, just promises of payment on Monday.

Weird, why would you pay someone for work not done?

Everyone drove off & i sat in my car & promptly burst into tears. Sounds a bit of an extreme reaction doesn’t it to what is after all an unexpected free day for me.

The whole thing was just so strange and I felt just like I did as a child, like I was some dumb idiot who had evidently done something wrong but no one would tell me what.

Finally occured to me to check FB and, sure enough, there it was, a cryptic message saying ‘you will have gathered by now that you’re not needed tomorrow’ Sent at half past 8 at night, no explanation, no reasons given for the change.

Which is fine of course but telling me by FB message? Evidently she couldn’t bring herself to come & see me in person during the week, send me a text message or call me?

This all sounds like i’m making a mountain out of a molehill i’m sure, just felt so guilty and like i’d done something really horrible to suddenly be treated like that.

Should add that my childhood was absolutely littered with abusive narcissists and they keep showing up with alarming regularity in my adult life as well & I never ever spot them until its too late.

Well, i can feel the terror of someone connected to this story finding it on the internet and recognising themselves and me so I will press publish before the courage leaves me.

That was another point i deeply resonated with in the article – the right to tell my/our stories even though others may not like it. Thanks again.


JM- that was a horrible thing to do to you and it’s no wonder that you reacted the way you did. It certainly brought up many bad memories about being purposely hurt many times before. That person is callous for sure and she has no guts whatsoever. What a wimp she is for handling the situation like she did – shame on her! I am sorry that she made you feel so bad today. She is wrong in every way. You are a lovely person and don’t deserve that kind of treatment. I hope you feel better soon.


Thank you for that lovely response Lynne (is here an e on the end, sorry, on phone & pain in rectum to scroll all the way back up :))

That whole incident played on my mind all day and I know i’m actively allowing it to take my energy & time but this keeps happening to me & just wish there was an answer for why the likes of us here were born with feelings & kindness & consideration & empathy while so many other souls seem to feel nothing at all.

Anyway, i shan’t ramble on, thanks again for the response, it means a lot to a single mad cat lady 🙂


Hi JM, it is the little things (to others) that are major things to us, than hurts. I have said many seemingly insignificant things that I have taken personally as these things hurt when done maliciously to me. I now am learning day by day to deal with awful people and teaching them not to treat me in that way as I just won’t sit around anymore to take that sort of crap. I had none-stop stories of sadness, but one day at a time I give myself strength when I leave my house and boost myself by saying “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me or what I want to do or wear”. It is such a confidence boost as I have already prepped myself to just NOT care what anyone thinks. I am who I am and too bad what others think. As for your job, think of it as an experience and learn from it and better yourself by finding a job that suits you and the people around you will respect you. The problem wasn’t you, it was their inability to confront you in person. Good luck with your healing.xx


…just checking if my response had posted & I can’t see it so apologies if it appears twice now.

Thank you for your response & much needed validation Lynn, the whole incident has played on my mind & soul all day & was trying hard to convince myself i was overreacting (as usual)

This sort of incident keeps showing up in my life, wish I had an answer as to why the likes of us here were born with kindness, consideration & empathy while so many seem to feel nothing at all while using human and animal souls as comodities (sp?) to use & abuse as they see fit.

I guess this site wouldn’t exist if we had the answer to that one though.

I shan’t ramble on, thanks again for the reply, it means a lot to a single ‘mad’ cat lady!


It did post twice, sorry 🙂

Hope – ‘i just won’t sit around to take that kind of crap anymore’ -‘thanks, that’s very significant in my situation as well as am trying to decide how to deal with what happened today once Monday arrives.

Feel like i need to finally take a stand and tell this woman how unacceptable her & her husbands behaviour were today.

The cats are very much treated as a money making commodity at their place so it’s a decision between taking a stand for myself which I suspect will result in my not working there anymore which will impact on the kitties care.

Sounds very self aggrandising doesn’t it but i figure that receiving genuine love once a week is better for them (especially the ones abandoned by their owners & other long term residents) is better than nothing at all? As in the story of the person gathering starfish from the beach & throwing them back in the water. There are thousands of them & someone comes along asking ‘why are you doing that, there are so many, you ‘ll never make a difference’ to which the ‘thrower backer’ (new made up word there :)) replies, ‘made a difference to that one’

Any opinions on whether i’m just deluding myself most welcome 🙂


My message was sent before seeing your last post JM. I am a huge cat lover too. Something that annoyed me was when my father rang me up a few days ago and told me he had to hide away from my NM to call me, as if it is a huge secret to call his own daughter, and then demanded to see me in person since I have not made the effort to see my FOO in over a year since he and NM went behind my back to go and see my father-in-law, lied to my face about it and still have not said sorry for the whole situation. On top of that my older sister has not spoken to me since the incident that had NOTHING to do with her, yet I am the one who is supposed to move on, forgive and forget the whole thing. No one understands me but I do. It is so clear in my head how wrong the situation is and I am not backing out of this one. Any time I have backed out and just moved on like nothing happened they have taken it to a new level that always shocks me. This way, my FOO has no right to use me, treat me like crap or to back-stab me. I have been nothing but loving to them and gave them anything they wanted, including my time, my money, my passion, my energy and my trust. But not anymore!


Hi JM,

Sorry to hear about your situation at the cattery. I don’t think it is fine that she didn’t give you an explanation as to why she didn’t need you when she was the one who asked you to be there all day to begin with. YOU deserve an explanation when someone is backing out of something that they asked you to do especially when you were nice enough to go out of your way to accommodate HER needs. She wasn’t doing you any big favor. You were helping her and she took advantage of your kindness and crapped all over you. Shame on her!!

Notifying someone through face book isn’t an acceptable way to communicate to someone that they aren’t needed for the day. It is inconsiderate to say the least. You deserve so much better then what you got with this one and that whole not responding to your direct question has “red flag” written all over it. People who respect you genuinely don’t want to waste your time so they would do anything in their power to make sure that you got their message and they don’t have a problem telling you the reason why because they CARE about you and they DON’T want you to feel like YOU did anything wrong when YOU DIDN’T!!!

This whole story pisses me off. So sorry that you had to endure more pain at the hands of these narcissists. Unfortunately we are attracted to them like bees to honey because it is what we are familiar with. I know for me once I was able to build up my self confidence and self worth I was better able to identify these buggers but even now I still can fall prey to them because some of them are just that good at schmoozing us so don’t blame your self. At the end of the day we went into these thins with good intentions. They are the ones who need to answer for themselves not us. We get to walk away from their abuse now. Yay for us!!! They still live their lives in a lie telling them selves how everyone loves them when the truth is we can’t stand their guts!!!

Amen to that!!! Got all riled up over this one!!

Hope you are feeling better now. Once again I am sorry that you got hurt.



Hi Hope,

I liked what you wrote in your post 156. Yay for you no longer worrying about what other people have to say about you!! I too fell prey to this sick way of thinking. For me it stemmed from my fear of being rejected and abandoned. Once I was able to overcome this fear I no longer worried about what other people said about me and once I learned it was ok for me to be human instead of this perfect “thing” I was able to see that other people have just as many issues as I did if not more!!! I liked what you wrote about being able to set up your own boundaries. We really do teach other people how to treat us.


I don´t have my “final straw” yet. However what made the biggest difference for me in regarding all the abusive family system and hopefully, one day, taking my power back from my mother is that I start noticing the family incest, the emotional inscest, the way how my mother enmeshes me, uses “kindness” (only after last family member died), how she pressures me to listen to her, to give her my emotions, my identity, how she does it anyway that she MUST tell me her story, I must listen to her, she speaks about herself, again and again. I feel how she penetrates me (as a sexual abuser), without any touch, how sneaky it is, how she knows pretty well why she made me sick (in order to keep me away from my career, job, money, independence, own living, own partner and family) and how she knows very well what “normal adults” usually do in my age. Her goal (and the goal of her mother) was to enmesh and fuse so strongly (as in the films of Elfriede Jellinek) and use whatever methods to accomplish her enmeshment (in my childhood it was the cycle of abuse and neglect), in order not to be alone, to have her compassionate listener, a beating heart.
It feels disgusting, sad to me. So far, I cannot move away after the onset of my sickness, but I observe it. I feel how she is violently taking my emotions, my life, my identity (she sucks the life out of me) and how much she misses her emotions, her life, her identity.
I´d rather not the last person for my own emotional, spiritual, intellectual, mental life, not the toy or transfusion to my mother.
Have the right for my own thoughts, emotions, money, job, life.
I thought all my life it was the way she showed me her love (and the abuse and neglect were “negligence, not enough information, bad day). I doubt this “love” today. It can be just enmeshment, stealing and sabotage my life, wrapped in “love”, “care”, “kindness”.


(comment Nr. 26)

just reading through the comments from the top,
I resonate with and must validate the same experience:
I thought until my 30´s that “it was not that bad what my mother did” and that in fact only to the romantic relationship with a narcissist/borderline that I was such a wreck and went to the therapy (that was actually not much good for me, but I figure out that it was bad in my life). In a forum about borderline people, I was blaming myself that I figured it out so late (this was also the blame of the therapist towards me). Someone told me” it was so bad that you could have not figured it out”. I go with it, so far. It comes to the whole picture, also towards me. The little pieces worked beautifully together, like a pefect matching symphony.

My mother uses (used) similar tactics to hur me: her snipes, looks, silences, the strange looking eye, the tone of voice, the way how the muscles in her face play together (usually later accompanied with neglect, even in sickness, guilting, ironising, yelling…..but, to me, these looks, the “things in the air” were and are the one thing that still keeps me in her power (like the threat of possible upcoming punishment).
When I tried to have an objection, I was told to be “too sensitive”, too difficult, I was making it up (gaslighting), I was told how bad the world is, EVERYBODY is bad….or a jerk, or that it is too difficult for me to achieve something, or I was mistaken, I was too nervous, I was not seeing well the truth.
Or she directed the topic towards herself. Majority of the conversations ended up about her. Her thoughts, emotions, ideas, life, dreams…, so basically my problem or objection was forgotten. I ended up alone for my stuff (which I never noticed), without help, hard working, plus I supported pretty well mother (and others) in their emotional, mental well-being.
She must have felt well before she let me go, transfusion, renuvelation received. (I felt usually nothing, usually care for them, empathy for them, they have really hard times).
(my ex had very similar tactics).


Karen R,

about the financial abuse.

I see my mother´s slaps in the passive-aggressive way, similar to your story: very resonating.
I still question myself whether I am crazy to think it (because all is so “subtle”, it looks like an accident, no coincidence, but the results are actually pretty clear and physical).
Thank you for sharing it, it feels very helpful to me.

My mother also uses the monetary stuff. At least, it must be.
She had stolen money or property from me several times, as a “punishment” reaction to something I apprently did (I guess I left her, had a job in another country or I was too rebellent to her as a teenage or I did not give her my attention..)
I discovered that she had stolen some little money my granduncle supposed to give me on his death- bed. I found out 20 years later. Mother said “she put it on bank account, for me, for later”. (but she forgot to tell me, ever).
Then, she manipulated me in the hereditary procedure after her dead mother (who apparently played her out of the property against me: a “good trick” as my grandmother abused me, basically they both did). That time, the lawyer was playing the game with my mother (I was told that I will have to pay the money for the procedure and I was a student, I had no money, the property cannot be divided physically, I´d just get some house for animals etc, also because my mother attacked the testament and I would have received anyway only the half). I was scared. Of the anger of my mother what would happen if I received the property. I signed that I give it up.
The therapist I visited (although they did not help me in other issues), all told ” I was manipulated and it was not a good idea to let the property go in favor to my mother”.
Several years after, my mother must have persuated my grandaunt to deliver the little property I should have received to her. I was out. When the aunt died, my mother brought me a paper from the lawyer that the hereditary procedure was closed (without me!, I just needed to sign at home), because there was no property at all. I was furious at her that she allowed to close the procedure (together with the lawyer) without my proper signature in place. I could have done nothing that there was no property ( I knew it already).
Next time, my mother gave me a part of this (just few fields, nothing that would secure my indenpence today, my mother knew that) back:
in the time when I found another job and knew that I will leave my mother (saw her tricks through). I felt she wants to pull me back through this “gift” when she decided out of the blue she would give the fields back to me.
Nonetheless, the procedure at the lawyer was strange. I watched if there is no debt (how my mother could cheat on me ?).
Several weeks later, the true gift from my mother arrived: she infected me (reclessly, “accidently”)with a severe infection, later she did it again. I never had the chance to get this job and I became disabled.
A truly truly hard-earned property.
Nevertheless, I figured out one year ago that these pieces of field were not all, 30 % were missing. Also, she must have cheated on me /but she told me she will give it it back to me/.

I have some strange feeling that I am not the heiress of my my mother eventhough I have no siblings, mother is not married, or there are some tricks in the testament will that even though my mother would die, I´d not be good at it).
Moreover, my mother loves to talk to me in the “we”-modus. She has no intention to change. She talks about “our house”…etc. This is the one she forced to give up.
I also helped her years ago in some legal action, I give her advice (forced to that ?)…in the property question because it should have been disherated by the state and some bad guys (=like my mother ?).
This makes me furious to know that it is thanks to me, my mother still keeps it and no private houses are build in the nature: and I am not the owner, have so little money for my health care, and will probably never be the owner.
It feels like misuse. I help her to get her financial stuff fine and she steals from my hereditary as a “gift”.

I consider those events highly susceptible as financial abuse and stealing.
I plan to ask her to give me the money back in the similar high as the property. Soon, as a gift for my birthday.
Not sure whether I will have the courage for it. To withstand the consequences of this question, or the war that might come up.

I learned to never ask for anything, not to expect anything, as you.
This is perhaps I did not realise the financial abuse, and I was general not much money-aware. I worked almost for free, voluntarily, etc…not so good for me, today.

My mother also points sometimes to other people “they are so lucky to have such a job”…etc…or ” I cannot believe that you did not stay in that job opportunity when you had the chance”. I distrust her. I think she just guilts me to keep me feeling guilty for my ” independency failure” that has been carefully orchestrated by my mother.

It seems also a very sly mother (or I am crazy- gaslight work in me).

This was a truly great reaction from yours: the no contact as a response to the financial abuse/punishment, pulling you back.
I can imagine you don´t regret the NC.
You were and are emotionally safe (and financially), you had the space for your healing ( I see it today, I don´t have the space for my healing and must face my mother´s tactics every day, luckily not the whole day, but–it interrupts my own emotions, my own process, there is not much calm, safety for me -all what one gains with low or no contact).

I have a grandfather, a sociopath, he did no good for me, but sometimes I came to visite him -at least I had somebody until I understood that it is harming to me. I am in NC for 4 years with him and all his family. I guess he is still alive. He will live until 100 seems so. I might not know about his death -I am aware of it. So far, I shall rather focus on my healing than his life, and I guess I will not be so fine, ok before his death to come to see him (why ?), I will put myself first.
I believe there is some pull from his son, my father, to get me to see him to his pleasure until he dies (father sent me a birthday greeting 2 years ago: first time ever in my life, and wanted to know “where I was”…blabla ? I senses it was a trick. He never knew where I was, what I was doing….it just campe to me as a message: wait a minute. He was coached again by his father. If he gets me to him, he´ll get some award, I´ll get troubles.
I can truly believe the other family members can pull one back -because they could have some profit out of it.
I did not know the father´s family much, thus I have not much emotional bond to them and it is easier to extricate myself from them.

Besides, there was also some financial abuse on the side of my grandfather, thus I have my mind-condition to see him: he must fund me all the money my father did not pay for me as a child and he helped him how to get out of there (I was in court with my father several times as adult, grandfather coached my father how not to pay for me). Basically his house for my 30 minutes meeting. I bet that this will never happen (unfortunatelly,I would need the money today).


Thinking about the final straw.. (sorry for so many post in a row).

I have one with my grandfather: he told me I shall stay in the village/town (despite my life-dream was and I tried to go to live to my dream country), apparently to be his personal health care, but mainly living with my mother in her old house.
Then he added that I shall marry a carpenter or someone who could repair the house of my mother. (I wanted to be a teacher at college, those dreams sucked so far thanks to my family).
I was done. Last visite at him. I felt “he was dangerous”, he really ment it. Me -be the object of help for him, my mother, plus married to some “not very intelectual” person (my another dream was to find a deep, loving romatic, brainy relationship, also sucked so far, thanks to my family). I will remain non-conscious of abuse and will deliver to each of my abuser what he/she needs. Perhaps the apparent husband would abuse me, either.
I felt that somehow my mother and grandfather (from father´s side), although they hated each other and were in no contact (at least I think so), kind of cooperated on my abuse.
It took me 17 years to this final straw from the time when my grandfather “rediscovered” that I was existing after the divorce of parents and no contact.
Previous years to the final straw were preparations: grandfather critised what he could have (after I dediced to go back to school and pursue my dream of being a teacher, decision which he did not approve): my education, where I live -not in his town, that I was too old, not married yet, will ever anybody want me ?, is it not too late for me ?, I might have no children -women without children are “not ok”, then he came to my look: I was dressing badly, the way how my har, eyebrows looked, was not ok (apparently no guy would want me), then he abused me in things I had no idea about that time -my nationality and ancestry, he threatened that if I leave the country, I will be cheated on, thrown away and will not have a place where to come back home….). I also received “gifts” for my birthday/Xmas -nicely wrapped package: 2 dollar soap in there or something odd the grandfather and his wife received from someone and did not want to keep (his wife told me once when he was not in the room).
I let it all happen. Until the “final”.
He did not tell me anything when he saw my ex, and he must have gotten that my ex was an abuser. I saw their looks. I did not understand that time. Today, I do. My grandfather waited..waited until I fall and his prophecy about bad world will come true in order to preach and force me to do what he wanted.
I must admit that there was love for him (at least, he was the only one who talked about me and not about himself, however it was in truly abusive way). Once I was with him in the capital, once I invited him in my beloved Germany, and I guess it was fine. We had good time. But, then….He definitely ruined my dream of living in the country of my ancestors (so far).
Sorry for that. But, I shall rather focus on my life. So far, not regretted.


Hi Everyone,
Looks like a pretty great discussion is happening here!

My father in law passed away last week and my husband went through a lot and I have been trying to be there for him. We had been no contact with his family for 8 years and it’s been a really tough week. Even though he phoned his mother 6 weeks before the passing, his father didn’t ask to see him (which was devastating in itself) but my husband went to the hospital at the end. His father didn’t regain consciousness, but Jim was glad that he went. The funeral on friday was a whole other horror. I have been writing about this stuff for 6.5 years and I can’t believe that I am still shocked at the length people will go to shame and blame the actual victims. I will be writing about this eventually but for now I need to just breathe. I feel like I feel into a vortex and although I am out of it now, I am still in shock.
I would appreciate positive thoughts and prayers.
love and hugs, Darlene


Darlene I am so sorry for what you and your husband have been going through. I can only imagine the horror of it all. These types of people can never, ever be wrong and will go to outrageous lengths to pretend that they are on the right side. They have an unbelievable ability to rope everyone in their inner circle into believing the lies. Peace be with you both. Loving and caring thoughts to you both and your children.


Hi Darlene,

I am sorry for the loss for your husband and for you.
It must be hard to be victimised in the grief.
My thoughts and prayers for you.
Maybe you be hold in comfort through the grieving time.
Grieving ends, ultimately, I believe, in a transformation, a growth, bigger life.

Love and light,

Not sure if those thoughts are positive, but I have some experience about grieving an abuser.
When my abusive grandmother died, I was not aware that she abused me…
and I started to have my first psychic problems after her death..guilt I guess.
My mother kept me away from her (I was in my “dreamt exile in another country”, guilted me in a way that I am not there, don´t help her, left when she had dementia (yes, but before I cared for her 6 full months when I had to finish my education and have my life) and it is tough to be around a dement old one.
I was heartbroken that time that I could have not seen her before her death. It was my fault that she died. I did not save her.

It would have helped me to see her before her death. That time for sure.
I only saw her body in the coffin (which I managed to arrange). Then, I grieved 3 years and I met my abusive ex and supervisor in this time (vulnerable, I was probably in dissociation). I went to search no help, unfortunately, although I read books on the topic, but thought “it is not needed”. Only one friend told me that time that I am depressed and should search help. The summer came and I got better, but grieved anyway. If I knew how much this woman abused me, it would have been a different grieving.
Perhaps it would have been a relief.For me, for her.

I wished my grandmother wanted to see me. Or left a message for me, last word, wish, asked after me. She would tell me that she loved me, appreciated me. I yearned for it (perhaps to soothen my unconscious guilt that I was not right in my guilt after all, but I was, I know today).
My mother did not speak about me -what about me after her death. When I asked directly how she died, if she remembered me, then, no, she did not. I believe it. That time, it was shocking. Today, I am content about it (it would be shocking today for me if my abuser mentioned me before his death in front of other people without any true reconciliatin with me).
However, it is not the full truth.
I knew the moment she died (it came to me as a message, like a goodbye and thank you with love), and I usually was not thinking of her. I was amazed, why does she bother me.
I recently read somewhere that the ancester who were abusive become our supporters. (it would be pretty fair).
Not sure.
I am just starting to remembering what this woman did to me, and any possible reconciliation could take a long time for me. However, this message of goodbye might exist.
My mother told me (she abused her, too) that she had a dream of her that all was fine with her….that she is not in the hell.

I kept some of her hair.
Still, I saved myself by seeing her body in coffin.
I did it for myself.

My mother bought a big heart of roses for her coffin -with my name on it. It was very loving, hearbreaking that time. Like my mother knew about my love for her.

I am not sure what I did today. I would see it pathetic. It was no love.
She can do her best after the death, but as a human, she was source of my suffering.
My mother does not want to talk bad about her.
But, I start.


Hi Darlene, I am sending you my thoughts and prayers. You, your husband and children deserve much better. Your husbands father was horrible and died that way without remorse, what an awful way to go. The people that blame the victim are the SICK ones. Stay strong xx

Hi Kris #161, Thanks heaps for your support. I still struggle with things people say to me but now I try not to take them personally like the other day a friend rang up and complained to me about “working like a dog” as if to infer that I don’t work hard enough and I just said back “that is your choice” and the reaction was shock, as I wasn’t joking like I normally do. I feel that if I tweak my responses to not put myself down all the time then I don’t feel so stupid afterwards. I just wish I was allowed to do this as a kid, I wouldn’t be such a mess now.

Hi Kristina #165, I concur with what you say about your NM ruining your life. I was the lucky one that got away (as I have a big mouth..lol!) but my sister is in an extreme situation enmeshed with our evil mother. My sister has a Uni Degree yet she has no life, no laugh, no words of her own, she is so trapped there is no hope for her to get away the way she is brainwashed. She even takes our NM’s side in any decisions made, so faithful to her. It makes me so upset and angry to see her deteriorate like that for our NM. She is on heavy meds, losing her hair and just sits in front of the TV (or hides in her room) to eat junk. She is 45 and has no life as NM will NEVER approve of her leaving the house unless it is for work. She is like a dog on a leash, and I can’t do anything for her anymore.

I’ll be totally honest about another thing. As soon as I hear my NM’s voice on the phone I cringe, as I can’t stand the fake “Hello Hope” she says in a high pitched sarcastic voice. I start to roll my eyes and get upset as soon as she starts talking as it is always about how good everyone she knows are. I don’t care for anything she has to say to me anymore. Ughhhhh…


Dear Darlene,

You’ve been sharing with us for years, so you know in one way or another what to expect. Actually going through it is not easy. It’s OK to not be OK for a while. It’s OK to just breathe.

Prayers that you and your family find the comfort that you need in this time.



Can’t even begin to imagine what you & Jim have been going through with the death of FIL Darlene.

Words seem so paltry in these situations so will just say thinking of you & family at this time & sending you love & strength to get through it.

Thank you for all of the posters who commented on my situation, i actively let it ruin my weekend but you helped so much by being there & validating what i’d started to rationalise as trivial feelings by the time i’d pressed the publish button.

One of the very red flags i’d managed to identify with people like cattery woman is the tendency to run down & bad mouth other people. Within minutes of my first day she was telling me tales of how awful & uncaring my predecessor had been.

Alarms were going off in my head as experience has taught me that what is being said about others will soon be applied to me (with people of this type)

It got so bad that in the end i did say to her in a humorous way ‘goodness, you’ll be saying these things about me soon’ Which stopped the flow of stories about how much they’d been ‘forced’ to put up with from the sub-standard worker thank goodness.

With hindsight perhaps i should have made my excuses at the start but how do you say ‘you’re yet another manipulative narcissist & i can’t be around you’ without coming across as somewhat of a ‘nut-job’ (sorry, can’t find any other term in my vocab to describe)

Anywho, sorry to ride roughshod over subsequent posts , is there any chance the ‘reply’ button could be moved to the top of the post for those posting on mobile devices one day? Or would that invite ignoring comments already made?

Just my tuppence worth on technology 🙂

Hugs & Purrs to all x


Hi Darlene,

I’m so sorry about the horror show for you and Jim. It sounds devastating that his father didn’t ask to see him, and then the nightmare at the funeral for both of you. I can understand what you mean about falling into a vortex. Emotional pain can be all-consuming and it can feel like such an effort to move through the day.

Yes, just breathe. Breathe in light and healing, and exhale toxic energy. Sometimes actually physically “shaking off” bad energy helps me, along with breathing and walking deep in the woods with really clean air from all of the green trees. I’ve also found burning sage in my home to be cleansing as well, when I want to cancel out negative experiences and transition to positive.

I will send you healing thoughts during my meditation.

Lots of love, Light


Hi Darlene,
Just read your last post and so sorry to hear what you and your husband are going through. My blessings to you and your family.

I just happened to stumble upon your page and see my life right before my eyes and in nearly every word you write. I’m too a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse. Some days are quite hard but I look at my family and they are my reason to be strong and fight. I cannot give up even though some days are quite difficult.

Thank you for sharing your life with us… thank you!

Many blessings!


Just a note to Light… Thank you for posting your tips on “Shaking off” bad energy. I’m a true believer in this and have started off meditating once more after many years… I have decided to continue my healing path and face this straight on.




Psalm 27:2-3

When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me,they will stumble and fall.

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.



Hi Everyone!
I want to respond with thanks to each one of you individually, but since I took friday through sunday off for ME, I have double work to catch up on today! 🙂
BUT here is an update; everyone was actually pretty nice at the funeral. My mother in law was very nice to my husband but more cool to me. My sister in law threw her daggers in the eulogy but yesterday I realized (after deep breathing, spending some time outdoors in my flower garden and in the sunshine) that what she did was a huge truth leak. She tried to explain everything that I have battled against for the last 10 years; she tried to explain how to understand an abusive and disrespectful man. She talked about how HE was justified in walking away from people who were disrespectful ~ even if those people were in his own family, but she revealed that the respect did not have to be mutual. She also showed clearly how she herself was willing to put up with his nasty treatment by dismissing his terrible way of speaking to others as ‘code for his concern and love’ (what the hell!!!???) The whole thing is pretty pathetic. So far my husband has been called by several people who were shocked by what she said in the eulogy.. people are not as dumb as we sometimes think… 🙂
Thanks to each of you who took the time to offer support! I appreciate it so much. I feel like I have enough renewed energy and insight to write a new book and this exp. will certainly change the way that I write now. I have so much more clarity, so much more insight. I feel like I levelled up about 3 levels! Watch out world!

Love and hugs! Darlene


Darlene, phone calls from others who were shocked at what your SIL said sounds very validating. I’m getting an impression that there were others who went home and did deep breathing as well!


Thank you Darlene for being honest about your feelings, time heals all.



I am so sorry for your and your husbands loss. Even though you are mourning the loss of an abuser, I’m sure there are many levels of grief. The actual loss, the loss of the possibility of reconciliation, guilt etc.

The comments of your sister-in-law must have been very surprising and validating. Good for you for recognizing her comments and processing the situation. I can only hope and pray that all of us have similar experiences but for now…enjoy the clarity!


Dear Darlene,

You have helped more abused people than you know. You’re such a strong woman and sometimes even the strongest people need a little support. I hope that you’re taking care of yourself during this trying family situation. It does get a bit easier everyday. Stay strong!



Dear Darlene,

I’m so sorry for what you and your family have been going through and also sorry for your loss. I can imagine how being confronted with these people who don’t want to see things for how they really are brings up a lot of pain.

I like what you said about your sister-in-law’s truth leak. It’s amazing how validation can even come from people who don’t want to look at the truth (I used to expect validation to come only from understanding). The truth is always there, whether you want to look it in the face or not. If you are able to analyze the situation and see the truth, then you are much better off after such a confrontation. I am glad you are able to use this experience to gain wisdom and strength.

Thank you for who you are and for passing on your wisdom. That takes a very special and strong person.



Dear Kristina #165,

I really feel for you! It took me a long time to realize how abusive my family is too, even my grandmother. I am also living in a different country (I’m not sure if you still are?), and it was tough for me for a long time. Looking back I know now that I fled from my family – I wanted to be anywhere but there. They didn’t agree with me leaving, of course, and for a long time I thought I had to prove myself to them that I could handle being away from them and on my own. I was lonely for a long time and wasn’t able to share my true feelings with them or anyone (they never taught me how to deal with life’s problems and my ex. said marriage problems should be kept between us). This did a lot of damage to me. I really had to spiral way down to be able to look at the way things and people really are. I knew things weren’t the way I wanted them to me but I felt trapped and didn’t know how to get out it. I was surrounded by abusers my whole life – that’s all I knew. I was finally confronted with a situation that constantly made me have to deal with my sorrow and losses, or die. I chose life and myself. I chose to find out who I really am. I chose to take responsibility for my actions and also admit that I am not perfect.

I also understand the situation with financial abuse. To my family, money is everything: prestige, power, and worth. They wouldn’t admit it, but it is the truth. I decided quite early that there are more important things to life than money. If my father wants to threaten to take me out of his will because I talk or care for certain people, than so be it. What a disgusting way to control and manipulate the people around him.

Dear Hope #169, I am sorry that your sister is suffering under your mother’s abuse. It’s so difficult when you see the truth but your loved ones refuse to. You want to save them, get them out of that situation, be there for them, but you are helpless because it is really their decision. The effects of abuse on children can be so devastating. It’s so disgusting how abusers can ruin the lives of their children. It also hurts me to see the effects on those I love, but I am tryng to learn to accept that I can only help them if they want it. In the end, we are all responsible for ourselves.

I am wondering how it is for everyone else. As far as I can tell, everyone has a “breaking point”. Is it always necessary to get to this breaking point in order to eventually see the truth and break the abuse cycle? That’s how it was for me. If I wouldn’t have chosen myself when I reached this breaking point, I think I would have either become stuck or would be crazy or dead by now.



Hi Truthseeker, I knew from the age of 12 that I didn’t want to be a part of my family but I had no choice. Unfortunately I lost myself up until a year ago when I got so fed up with the last thing they did to me. I too would have totally lost myself if I didn’t take drastic action.

As for my sister, I wasted 39 years supporting her and hearing her whinging about how much our NM annoyed her but all she did was find out information from me to snitch and use it against me with our NM. I never saw it until she back-stabbed me on the last one.
As much as it hurts me to see her literally deteriorate, I feel like she wants to be there so I have put my hands up and had enough with her as well. She even used facebook to find out what I am doing to run to our NM to tell her things I was doing. It makes me so MAD that this petty idiotic-ness is all they know. I keep telling them to find hobbies but they find excuses not too, they never have excuses not to ruin my life.

I will never understand why this has to happen to us and why our FOO just can’t let us be. I sometimes feel like I wish it was all over and my life just ended as I feel pain daily. I have never done anything illegal, criminal or nasty so I don’t know how I was stuck with such awful people around me. I am so sad.

I got the whole “we will take you out of our Will if you don’t have children” and that made me furious! Not furious for the Will, furious about the kids. So I decided to take myself out of their pathetic Will. Yes, money is their God, not mine!

Cheers Hope xx


Dear Hope,

It is definately not easy to find yourself once you are caught up in such a tangle. I also took drastic action, which also caused a lot of pain in my life. My decisions have all made me who I am today, however, and I am better for it.

I was so caught up with pleasing abusers, I didn’t take time for me and almost lost myself – I’m learning how codependent I really was, and sometimes still am. I am still in the process of finding out who I am because I was so far gone, I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I had bent myself in every which way except for my way. I didn’t even know which way was mine because I had never lived for myself. What a long process this is! I go days at a time being comfortable and fairly at peace with myself and then life intervenes and it throws me out of whack again. I have times when I get really angry or down too – when I wish there were an easier way out. People can be so unreasonable and hurtful sometimes! Someone told me the other day how important this is. It’s important to be able to finally feel these emotions, to be aware of them, and to also express them. That’s not easy if you have mostly suppressed them your whole life. It’s not easy to deal with that, and I still have so much to learn. I am not sure if you supressed like I did, and though it may be rough waters, it is important to feel sad, it is important to feel. Hang in there and try to harness these feelings into strength and wisdom.

I can’t believe your mother would try to make you have children and threaten you with the will. That’s so ridiculous! It’s your right to make that decision on your own. I’m sorry about that!

My family thrives on gossip, too. I know they all talk behind my back about me because of little truth leaks here and there. They do it to each other all the time too, so why would I be an exception? I quit facebook quite a while ago because I am no longer interested in gossip. If I want to talk to people, I write or phone or visit them, and if they have any interest in me, then they can do the same. It almost makes me not want to talk to anyone, because I know that the people I have no contact with are still well-informed on my life. As I choose to take as little part in gossip as possible, I know little about them. I try not to let it bother me though because really, I have nothing to hide and I woould rather hear about their lives from them. I’m sorry your sister uses this against you – someone you thought you could trust and were trying to help. What a sorry way to experience life instead of doing the experiencing on one’s own! These people have no life – they just consume from others.



Hi Truthseeker,
Just read your post and feel we have been through the same, I was also so caught up in pleasing my NM that I completely lost myself and did not know who I was anymore until a breaking point. I did not understand why I was not happy and could not stop crying, then I decided it was time for therapy. It’s been two years now.

It is a slow process but you do get there in the end, not all days are pleasant but it does get easier as each day goes by. I have days that I feel so sad and wished I had a different reality, a loving family that I feel supported. A Mother that loves and support me but then I think it is not going to happen, I have to be strong and the only person whom I need to impress or please is myself now.

For this reason I have finally decided to live my life the way I want to, I have changed my career path and studying what I love. I’m taking control of my life, even the colour my hair my NM tried to control and made me change. In the past, I would of changed it just to please her and I was so caught in having her approval and love but that is in the past. I remember the first day I stood up for myself and began to be assertive, it was priceless the look on her face.

It’s hard to break away but I believe it’s the best decision, we all have to be strong and things will look better once we do.



Hi Truthseeker,
Thank you soooo much for your support, it means the world to me. About my anger with my NM and the Will, I was really upset about it since I was forced to abort the only time I fell pregnant in my late 20’s to my partner of 2 years back then (ready to marry), my NM didn’t like him and made it very apparent. So as a result, I have been struggling to conceive for 3 years as I am now 40 (and I do not want to go through IVF). My family have made a huge deal about it around others and not once have they actually asked me in person what is wrong, they ask everyone else around me as if I have no mouth to speak. It is the most crazy-making thing ever. I have always made my feelings known and my FOO have used that against me too. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I have my rare good days but mainly life gets me down as I still can’t understand why so much heart-ache had to happen to get to this point of opening my eyes and see it wasn’t me all this time.

PS. My FOO talks about me among themselves in front of me like I am not even there. They know which buttons to press to get me furious.
And to top it, they then demand ridiculous things and expect me to be compliant and wonder why I never want to do anything for them anymore.
My father rang the other day and acted like he really misses seeing me in person (as I refuse to see my FOO in person for over a year) and my partner pointed out that my parents are dying to see some friends we used to have that have come back to our Town, after my parents made a HUGE fight 4 years ago with them, but act like I am to blame. I just can’t believe how far these people will go to, to ruin my life.
Cheers Hope xx


Dear Mari,

Yes, our situations sound similar. I would feel really bad about myself or guilty if I was displeasing anyone in my family and even my ex. A lot has changed in my life since then too. I also went to therapy. I like what you said: “the only person whom I need to impress or please is myself now.” That is so true and easy to forget. I still try to be loving and caring toward my family and friends but only if they respect me for who I am. Either people like you or they don’t. I also like your last statement: “things will look better once we do.” It’s time we put ourselves first for once! Thanks for your support!

Dear Hope,

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could give you a big hug. That is not an easy ordeal to go through. I hope that you will be lucky enough to be a mother some day if that is your wish. It seems that life can be so unjust sometimes. I also find it difficult to accept certain things in my life – I had different ideas about the way my life would look, my family life, etc. I had different plans. But, I am also beginning to see that even though not everything is what I would have considered my “ideal” 10 years ago, I have other things and a handful of people in my life that I am truly grateful for. I try to look at what I do have and give those things more attention, even though it is not always easy.

I think it is bad enough when your family talks bad behind your back but when they do it in front of you and spread your business about to others not even involved – that really disgusts me. They are really digging their own grave. If any of their “friends” have any sense, they will see through them too, see what kind of people they really are, and if they don’t then they are just as bad and worthy of each other. You don’t need that crap.

My father not once spoke a word to my ex., who a couple of times tried to strike up a conversation with him and my father completely ignored that he was even standing there. I had to beg him even to come to the wedding, which he accepted at the last minute only to tear us both down right after the ceremony. Frankly, I don’t think he would care for any of my partners unless they were hand-picked by him, so I honestly don’t care anymore. I don’t care to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t acknowledge the existence of my family or loved ones.

As you said, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. That’s exactly how I feel about a lot of things – I never seem to please anyone anyway so I don’t try anymore. I don’t know what feels worse – their concern when my life is screwed up (and then their talk behind my back to each other about it) or their disinterest or fake compliments when things are going right (because “we knew you would do it anyway, you always do”).

It’s time to live for ourselves! Thankfully that is possible for once in our lives!



Hi Truthseeker, I love your comment about living our own lives. I think the reason why I am so stuck is because as much as I act strong or try to ignore the negativity about my actions, it still hurts. Everyone around me (the few people that are left) slam me for getting rid of these (toxic) people not seeing my reasons why I did it. I know I don’t need to explain to anyone anything I do, I keep forgetting that when I am down. Thank you for the hug, I really need it.xx

The bad thing is that I am so over everything, I can’t even please myself anymore. All I can think about is that even if I make an effort with something or someone, something bad is going to evolve by the end. I feel like I have made so much of an effort with people, activities, work, hobbies and now I am so discouraged I don’t know what else to do. Anything that starts off good ends up bad and I don’t know how to change that (it is so ingrained from my FOO).


Hi Hope,

I am sorry that you have people in your life that slam you for getting rid of the toxic people in your life and not seeing the reasons why you did it. I understand how you keep forgetting this when you are down.

Please try to be gentle with yourself. I have made efforts with people and organizations since dumping my family and a lot of it has not worked. I feel the same way you do: I have made efforts and been there for people and gone out of my way and feel like I don’t have a close connection to the friends I thought were close to me. Every one is super busy and running around working and playing it just sometimes seems I am the last on the list. I think 21st century life is very challenging for people who want to make real connections. Email and texting seems to be the way of the world at this point. I guess what I am doing is giving you a pep talk. I think you are going to find something good and it may take a while. Do you have any pets? I find animals very comforting and they always treat us as a priority in their lives!


Hi Andria, you have always been supportive to me and thank you for the pep talk, it helped. I have even gone as far as to donate things to organizations and even they rejected some things. I tried starting up a language conversation group which took weeks of prep and in the end their excuse was that they had visitors, knowing full well we had so much time ahead to sort it all out. Any new young people I meet say they have no time in their diary for me. And any older people I meet I feel they are trying to use me for my energy and time.

I have 30 animals as I live on a farm and work from home (which makes meeting people really hard) and the worst part of it is that we(my partner and I) had many friends for the first few years but my NM has ruined every single bond with them, and she is still going behind my back and talking to them or trying to get me to allow her to come over my house so she can sneak behind my back and go see them in person even though it has been 4 years since she caused chaos in my life. My NM thinks I am a joke and that she can just trample on me any time she feels like it. The animals are great, to an extent. And I do agree that technology has gotten in the way of life but real friends are still needed. I feel like I keep hitting a brick wall the more I try as I am not the type of person that just sits around waiting for things to happen.

Cheers Hope xx



I am sorry that the language conversation group did not work out. I have found that some people make commitments to something and then don’t follow through. It is hard to connect with people. It takes effort from both parties to make a relationship work. I don’t mind doing more of the work sometimes, but I am not going to do most of the work all of the time. That is what I did with my family and I am not going to do this anymore.

Yes, it is harder to meet people when you work from home. That is cool that you have 30 animals. What kind do you have? We have horses and cats. I am sorry that the many friends you had before are no longer with you, and that your mother is the person who messed this up for you. I agree that real friends are still needed. I am glad that you are still trying. Nothing happens to you if you just sit around waiting.

My husband has always been my best friend, but I like having other friends too. Friends that I can talk with about deep subjects or personal matters. Casual friendships are fine as well, but it is very enjoyable to have close friendships.


I struggle with loneliness and making connections as well so I can relate to this discussion. I am hesitant to try online dating, but meeting potential partners through casual groups, meetup, etc., just isn’t happening. Online dating frightens me, but maybe I have to just get over it.

I miss emotional intimacy so much. It’s a rare thing to connect and open one’s heart to someone (and they reciprocate); it’s rare to just be able to flow and get along with another day-to-day and have similar values and interests. There have been people over the decades, but those relationships ended and I didn’t realize what a gift they were.



I understand what you say about getting along with another day to day and having similar values and interests. I have a former coworker friend that I thought was the real deal as far as similar values. We don’t have similar interests as I am all about my animals and she has no interest in animals. She has a young child and I have no children. So that is a big difference there. But I thought that we had similar values. I am finally seeing that we don’t have similar values. She treats me nicely, but there is something missing. I did not see that she is always looking for what she can get out of situations and things. I guess it was hidden behind all of her niceness. I am not going to take her out of my life, but I am going to step back a bit.

My husband and I moved around a lot during our first 10 years of marriage. We have been in the same area for 25 years, but right now we are suffering a dearth of true friendship. I have one girlfriend that got divorced last year. Her husband never was friends with us. We have had other people seem like they were interested in being friends, but it either didn’t happen at all or it ended for various reasons.

I am attending a women’s spirituality group that has low cost programs with various types of facilitators and I find some connection there. It is not like having a best friend, but you have some connection with other souls for a few hours.


Hi Andria and Light,
My animals are mixed but my fave are the cats. If only they could talk. I was very interested in asking you Andria, how do you handle people reacting to you about not having kids? I find I am the one that has the problem relating to people with them. They have so much to say about them and I have hardly been around them. I am sorry you are going through such hard times with the friends in your life. I can so relate to you when you say your friends’ husband wasn’t friends with you and your husband. My partners’ best friend has a wife that has caused hell in our lives and he just lets her get away with it, so now I am distancing from them too. So sick of people thinking they are better than me for this reason or that. I love the women’s spiritual group you are attending, I started adult ballet classes three months ago but found the teacher really blaze and the other women too cold. I was a dancer up until my 20’s so I was really comfortable with it, the people in the class were not nice, so I stopped, even though I want to go back.

Light, my sister has been single for 6 years and she is 45, people treat her like she has a handicap because of it and she still lives with our parents (very enmeshed but also the Golden Child). I am not sure why people are so critical of others when the path of life didn’t go: marriage, kids, big house, two cars and two dogs. Not everyone can have the fairy tale ending and I hope you find the love you need soon. I was single for four years before finding my partner and I was upset for the first three, on the last year I took charge of my life and had the best time, and I think that is what attracted him to me. I think when you least expect it, it usually happens. Good luck, and I think online dating is really the way to go, it could really work out for you. I know someone who found her husband online 9 years ago.

Cheers Hope xx


Hi Hope,

Yes, the deal about not having kids. My father didn’t like me not having kids. My dad never let go of that fact and used to say nasty things to me like I hate children just because I did not have any. Other people ask questions why I didn’t and how I am going to miss out on something by not having kids. Now that I am in my late 50’s most people don’t talk about it anymore. Also, lots of younger people are opting out of the child rearing. So perhaps it seems more “normal” not to have children.

Thanks for the kind words about friend troubles. Certain people have to act like they are better than others. Both my sister and my husband’s sister exhibit this behavior. I know where my sister got it. Our mother told us we were better than other people, but I knew that was wrong. It is so funny how people in the same family can think such different things.

I hope you find some activities that you enjoy AND you enjoy the people that you are engaging with. It is so hard to find the right fit sometimes. I hope the women’s group works out for me. So far so good!


I escaped. But returned and stayed after my brother died (I was 34). I’ve become an expert “blocker” from all the years of abuse. So much blocking and so many traumas – PTSD hit. Thankfully I found great government resources for help. It has been so difficult to unlock all the trauma to process out. I never understood why people in the city where my parents’ lived had such negative reactions to me until I started learning about narcissistic and abusive parents. My mother told me she thinks I am bi-polar because I think I do things like give presentations to CEOs when I don’t. I showed her a recent presentation to a CEO and she said: see you think you did that and you didn’t. Later, similar words came out from a potential client’s mouth and I was stunned but not putting the pieces together..blocking shuts that down. I married an abuser and escaped him with a wonderful son. My ex shows up after almost 4 years of choosing not to see his son – with a 5th wife and my parents lying in support of my ex who btw is a Devout Catholic with a 5th wife. I have been in over 6 years of post-divorce litigation that has almost bankrupted me. My parents’ banking connections wrongfully garnished 100% of my checking and savings – and I am self-employed. I’ve been fighting for over a year to get my money back. And dealing with an ex and 5th wife who are constantly attacking and lying – with my parents agreeing. The 5th wife testified that she came to my house and I showed her my crystal wine glass collection that vibrated and levitated so I could hear alien voices. Police that know my parents showed up at my door with my lost dog saying they know all about “you people.” I was like what “you people” am I? Then I remember the rumors at my workplace about how I was a lesbian – and boom pieces put together on where those rumors started. Because I divorced a man who admitted he spent over $50,000 in a year on strippers and financed it by falsifying his work expense reports – I must be a lesbian because my father said under oath: he would have done anything to stay living in my marital home. The crying I did when I told my father I had to go to the ob-gyn and be tested for sexually transmitted diseases before my father testified about doing anything to stay in my marital home and marriage. Fast forward, I’m on the brink of financial ruin from all the legal fees and associated health problems. This year I was in the ICU and almost died from diabetic complications. What do my parents do – they offer to gift me ~$24,000 of my inheritance – only they control where it goes. My mortgage because I’m sure they’d love to swoop in and steal my house and its equity from me. My credit card..that reaching its max my father says I’m not going to have my money paying interest charges. I explain to him and give him the numbers that I have been effectively living at the poverty level. I went for over a year with no diabetes treatment or medication so I could fund my utilities, insurance… Thankfully I found a wonderful organization that saved my life with medical care. My PTSD counselor said she doesn’t know how I get out of bed with all the trauma I’ve endured. So days it is hard but I have to believe there is hope and justice. My counselor also told me what an amazing person I am with everything I have done professionally. It almost made me cry because I’m used to every accomplishment being demeaned, discounted, or a lie starting from childhood and on-going. The awful stories I could tell but I find exhausting to relive. My mother asking me when I was 13 if my father was raping me (she testified under oath YES) and telling me my father said I have a great rack.. The final straw for me was when I went to my parents’ house to take them to the airport for their international cruise vacation – my parents gave me a bag of mostly rotten food to eat. No excuse for buying groceries because I can eat the rotten food they were going to throw away. Thankfully I have a wonderful PTSD counselor who I showed the rotten food. The squash was so rotten it had liquified. While I am still in PTSD treatment my parents claim it is not working because I fight back against their lies and abuse. They will not continue “gifting” me money until I get psychological help for my emotional disturbance. My mother had the nerve to say I am the problem with banks and my ex husband.. She sends out emails about how I lie to my extended family – ending with we (my parents) have done nothing but always support me. Yea, like that support when I was ~4 and my father drop kicked my toddler brother down the hall. Did my mother say anything before, during or after. Nope. What she has said recently is that I have no idea how horrible her life is now that she is the only one living with my father. Yea, I appreciate my childhood being all about abusing me and my brother. Here’s a thought: divorce that bastard and don’t ever contact me again. The sad part is that I have some really good people in my extended family who I also have chosen to have no contact for several reasons. At the top of the list – as the day I got tired of being the last person that mattered, they operate in the system that I am worthless. The other is their values on the subjugation and objectification of women. A recent family “Dirty 30) birthday celebration had all the women line up in white t-shirt contest t-shirts, with the men wearing “Dirty 30” sunglasses because the “headlights” are so bright and these folks are Devout Catholics. It is so awful how writing about all of this just takes me back to more abuse.. When my ex said under oath that I was having affairs and our son was not his, my mother said: that’s ok, he was just a little upset.

I am very grateful for all the comments and resources here. I have been struggling with no contact and very glad to hear no contact is in my best interest.


Hi Lisa
Welcome to EFB ~ thank you for sharing.
You are not alone.
hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene – for the site and support. It is just awful when I get support I cry. Do you think moving is the best way for me to accelerate my recovery? I have friends I love in this city but so many bad memories and my parents live 15 minutes away.


Hi Andria,
Thanks for the heads up on my issues. You and your sister were told that you are better than others, yet you didn’t believe it. My sister and I were told that we are nothing to anyone yet we both believed it. My aim for this year is to reverse that whole thought process…wish me luck.
Cheers Hope xx


Good luck Hope. Just recognizing that there is a problem is a good start already.


Hi Andria and Hope,

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I am middle-aged, and I’m sure there is a stigma “out there” when and if I begin dating. I was emotionally a mess for so many years due to family dysfunction. It’s taken this long to learn about who I am, and disengage from them. I can’t even begin to think of how to respond to the question “So why aren’t you married?” I guess I’m going to have to toughen up and try the online dating.

Andria, my sister too also can act like she’s better than me, or she’ll “correct” what I’m saying even though she’s just saying the same thing in a different way. My mother favors her and depends on her…in many ways my mother abdicated her role of being a mother to my sister.

It can be very difficult to make meaningful connections, especially with all of the technology that is layered in between actual conversation. I find too much emailing feels empty. Hope, I’m sorry you keep trying and it all ends badly. I like your activity Andria about a women’s spirituality group. In that kind of group it would seem that participants are already open to sharing.

Hope, how did you take charge of your life and have the best time (#194), then meet your husband?



My sister is my only sibling and she is the golden child. She thought she could always run rough shod over me and she did until I went NC. I too find too much emailing an empty communication. I just participated in the women’s spirituality group last night. Everyone had a great time and felt heard and supported.

Good luck with the online dating if you choose to try it. Please be gentle with yourself. The latest statistics from the US Census Bureau say that the majority of Americans are single member households. You are not an anomaly.


Hi Light,
The way I took back my life: long story short, I had just come back home to be with my parents on the 4th year of being single and the fights that occurred with my NM were unbearable, plus the stress and pressure to find a man were so prevalent. So I went back to College to study, met some really interesting people in different place, started jogging for an hour a day with the new friends I made and started going out to just have fun and dance, plus I worked part-time for money. Through one of my friends I got introduced to my now partner during my height of happiness. And since then a lot more has happened.

The thing that really annoyed me is that during that happy year my sister got married and I did half the prep work for her wedding and in the end she didn’t even invite me to her Hens night. On the actual wedding day, she totally treated me like her enemy. I ran around for her for months on end up to the day, lost 5 kilos from the stress to get things perfect, and wasted all my creativity to just be back-stabbed and used. This happened 8 years ago yet I cannot shake it off coz when I confronted her about it she just shrugged her shoulders.


I journaled the following last year.

The Last Straw —
I have thought about the conversation I had with mom about inviting her for Thanksgiving. What about that conversation was the last straw. Why did that conversation and her denial of an invitation break me and finally bring me to the point of no return? She had accused me of worse things. Why did I snap this time? Then I thought about a kids game my friend had. It was called “The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back”. There was a camel with a pack on its back. Each player would each take turns adding a plastic straw to the pack until the pack got too heavy and the camel would come apart – breaking the camel’s back.

The thing is, except for color, all the straws in the game were exactly the same. The last one added was exactly the same size as the first one. It was the total weight of all the straws that broke the camel’s back, not just the last one. Everyone has a limit and if they are repeatedly pushed past that limit, they break. Mom pushed me to my limit and then beyond. It was the total realization that nothing I had done in the last 40 years and nothing I could do in the next 40 years would be enough. I could turn myself inside out, it wouldn’t be enough. I could be proactive and try to predict her wants, it wouldn’t be enough. I could ask her what she wanted then do exactly what she asked, it wouldn’t be enough.

It would NEVER EVER be enough. The last straw. I broke.


Andria — I’m so glad your women’s spirituality group went so well! That sounds uplifting. Yes my sister can run roughshod over me as well, at times with my mother right there, and my mother won’t see it. So as long as my mother condones it, it will keep happening. A sick dynamic. This behavior should have been squelched the first time it happened in childhood.

Hope — Thank you for telling me about your happy year and how you met your husband. I feel for you about your sister’s wedding — that sounds so infuriating and exploitative. I understand why you can’t shake it off.



Thank you for your kind words. My FOO would gang up on me. All three of them. My mother was the ringleader. When she died in 1999, I thought the pile-ons against Andria were over. Nope. The dynamic continued. My sister took center stage with her abusiveness.

I’m sure your mother sees what your sister is doing to you and she doesn’t care that it is happening. It certainly is a sick dynamic.


Hi Andria,

Yes I too believe my mother is being willfully ignorant. I’m sorry that you were ganged up on; I can imagine how painful that can be because I was scapegoated as well. And thanks for sharing what happened after your mother died. At one time long ago that I thought maybe the dynamics would become more positive, but I’ve read enough of others’ experiences to know that probably isn’t going to happen. I wish we could get coffee/tea together sometime….


Hi Lynn
Welcome to EFB ~ Yes.. I add to your last sentence; It would never ever be enough FOR THEM. But I am enough for me. I am enough and they are wrong.
Thanks for sharing!
you are not alone!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Lynn,
I never felt ENOUGH for my FOO either and it made me emotionally sick all the time.



Yes, I have also read in other places that if you are in the scapegoat role in the family you will never be released from it. I really don’t understand why I was the scapegoat, but I did not like living there. So I had to extract myself. Yeah, it would be nice to have a cup and talk with you face to face.


Lynn, I can totally relate to the NMother and Not doing or being good enough. Being compared to others, criticism, rude hurtful comments.

Even after NC, I struggle with worries about what I do, say, or am. (Good Enough?)

Counseling and positive talk to myself is helping my self esteem.


Never Pleasing Mother…So Sad, So True!

Excerpt from Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers – Danu Morrigan

One thing that every DONM needs to realise for her own peace of mind, is that she will never please her mother. (Or at least, not to a large extent and not for long – I speak more of this below*). This is a hard, and sad, fact to accept, but peace and even a kind of freedom comes from accepting it. You can let down the burden of trying to win her approval, and only then will you realise just how exhausting that burden was.

So why can’t you please her, no matter how hard you try?

The fact is that she doesn’t want to have you please her. That is too easy and too harmonious and too drama-free.

She wants you on edge and anxious. She wants you vying for her approval. When you are hungry for that approval, you are focussing on her and giving her attention (which is her narcissistic supply), and she’s happy with that situation.

The promise of her approval is the bait she wields to keep you trying. But like the carrot on the stick in that famous image of the donkey, the bait is always out of reach.


Boy oh boy does that ring true. Didn’t even realize how narcissistic both my parents are until recently. Pegging my Father first, then more recently my Mother. I’ve been no contact with them almost a half a year now. Cutting the ties of that drama has been a weight lifted off my shoulders for sure. In a nutshell, Father sexually abused me most of my childhood, Mother never “noticed”. When I told of what happened she stayed with him.


Wow, so much good discussion we can all relate to.

Lynn (#204) – It is like you read my mind and I didn’t even know I was thinking about the camel and the straws. You put it so eloquently, each event is another straw, one and the same but still very damaging. Several times in my adult life my mother told me “you would still be in the gutter if it weren’t for me”. One of those times was when I was sitting with her when she was in the hospital. I was so taken aback I couldn’t even respond. Another time she dropped a straw on the pile was when she handed me a check for my and my husbands birthday because our refrigerator died and she said “Mom to the rescue”. I gave it back to her and told her at 50 years of age I just couldn’t stomach the thought of being rescued. I finally dumped the pack of straws on her lap and told her to move out of our home.

Light and Andria – It’s interesting how sisters play into this as well. For me, my sister was the first casualty of my NC. I haven’t spoken to her in over a year. She has never been close to my mother. Or so I thought. It was my sister and mother who both reveled in the fact I was married to an abuser for 8 years. They loved it when I was down (and I’m not referring to depression). If I was in the middle of an abusive period with my ex they just loved it. It was a very sick dynamic. Of course my sister is the “smart one”. My mother removed me as executor of her estate and then took me completely out of her will and told my brother (who had sexually abused me starting at age 4-5) that my sister would do “a GREAT job”.

It’s really weird sort of. The oldest boy in our family and the oldest girl in the family can do no wrong. Even though the boy moved 1800 miles away 30 years ago and has never been there for my mother for anything. My sister has always been very self centered and never had much to do with my mother either even though she lived very close. My sister has always been a “daddy’s girl” too, which is really odd. My mother has never gotten over her divorce from my father which happened in 1972 and to this day speaks horribly about him. Not sure why she feels this way about her other 2 children (myself and my second brother) but she definitely has a ton of animosity towards us.

It has been a tremendously long road that has lead me here, no contact with ANY FOO members. Both of my parents are only children so my FOO is incredibly small. The fact they were only children probably plays a huge part in both of them being so narcissistic. I’m so much better off and starting to really heal for the first time in my 53 years.

This is a wonderfully therapeutic site and thank you to everyone who shares. Expressing yourself and shining a light on the darkness is very necessary in the healing process. Bless you all! (And yes I think we should have a convention or something to get together and meet and support each other, coffee and tea served to everyone LOL)


I read somewhere that with age NM’s get worse. Is that true…and how much worse?

In my FOO my sister has gone above and beyond anything my NM could have served up, her jabs sting worse and are so much more direct to me. My NM really did a fantastic job in creating evil flying monkeys and gaslighting me. I sometimes say she has won her pathetic game coz I give up. I am not going to run around for her approval.



Yes, in my case my NM got much worse with age. She still seemed to know exactly what she was doing though. I don’t think it was any form of dementia, I think just the true colors were really exposed. She will be 88 this August so you can imagine the guilt I feel/felt for “throwing her out”. I am still dealing with that but it gets better little by little.

Try not to think of it as she has won the game. I practice positive self talk a lot and remind myself that it is me who has come out for the better by not getting sucked into it. My relationship with my sister has never been good from my earliest memory. It was as if she resented me for being born and she was no longer the baby of the family.

I also have had a hard time making connections but it has gotten better for me with time. I don’t think we were taught how to make or be friends in our early developing years. I now have just a couple of close friends and the time and effort I had to put in for that is well worth it.

Keep plugging away and good changes will happen for you.


Thank you so much Jessica. A lot of the time I feel I have been forced to baby so many people around me and I really don’t think I am that person. I feel so torn and growing up being bullied from everyone coz I wasn’t very pretty, or smart or too tall or no boobies or not liking the same music or main stream things, made me a huge target. And me not knowing how to defend myself back then just spiraled out of control. Hence my feeling of losing myself.

I am so sorry you felt bad for throwing your mother out at such an old age, I say good on you. If someone you are looking after has no respect for you, then you don’t have to oblige in doing so. Mine started brainwashing me from the age of 12 to look after them, even though they are the healthiest people at their age now. They can afford to go overseas every year and do things with everyone they know and not include me in anything, but they ring me and tell me they are broke or need me there or brag about how much they spent on their house or car. I don’t understand why the lies are so continuous when it is clear I just don’t care. I feel broken, even though I have tried the inspirational self talk. One step forward, two steps back.

Cheers Hope xx


I am truly sorry you feel so broken. I wish there were some advice or magic trick I could perform to take your pain and suffering away. Life is too short to live with that burden.

Please know that there are people here that care about how you feel and see yourself as a person. Remember, we are all equal on this planet, no one is “better” than any one else.

Take care and try to not be too hard on yourself. For a long, long time I didn’t even like myself. One day it suddenly dawned on me that sometimes the only love you get is self love. Don’t take that away.


Thank Jessica, I will try the self love a bit more.



Hi Hope,

thank you a lot for your support.
I was overwhelmed by my experience (talks about narcs and looking back at my life trigger the emotional flashes), then I must take a break and just think of something else for a long time not to harm my body by the emotional flashes and the unsolvable situation (at least to my brain).

I thought when you wrote about your sister that she was in a bad situation, perhaps an empath or someone very talented, with high psychic capacity (as I read that those people get the most caught up with narcs), but what you write how you sister cooperates with your mother against you etc, it seems to me that she is perhaps also very self-centered, narcisstic or at least the golden child.
I met many godlen children (they loved me): most of them very financially and socially supported by their parents. At the same time, they were enmeshed /with their smothering mothers/, at the same time they had experienced the englectful mother, often a ridiculing father. But, they had money.
They lived in their own appartment (or paid by parents), parents were buying them stuff, keeping them at college for 10 years, eventhough they were not much talented (and they were not !), they usually had no friends or some ” friends for some profit”, some were into alcohol, drinking, porno (even very subtle)… My ex went to therapy, he knew how his mother or father was, but he was still the guy who lied to them and took money from them at the same time (all hidden, he did not tell me ). It was like he was playing a game on his parents.
He told me “I know my parents will always financially support me”.
There seems to be a problem with good will, the enmeshment is the second.
I can understand that the abuse, espec. when also the enmeshemt is in place is so painful and the narcs and some egostic people don´t want to feel their own pain, and throw it at others instead.
I have heard that lots of people with personality disorders are on heavy medication, which suprised me – I thought that they had no problems when they were that abusive (apparently it does not let).
If your sister had a partner or a child, she would have abusing them, eventually, and she could be much better today, but some little child would suffer. Maybe it has no sense to persuade your sister about your mother, as she probably knows very well (and tries to create a cooperation with your mother against you -at least, I read this is what narcs do, my mother did it with my ex and my grandfather: both from the narcs spectrum).
I cannot persuade my NM to anything. She must be willing herself (and most of the time, she is not). A good will person looks probably differently.

I hope that I have some hope to get out of there because I am not like narcs.


Dear Truthseeker, #182,

thank you so much !

I love hearing your story. Your success story about making your life true.

Yes, it is tough. I feel more connected when talking to people who lived it, too. (because so far, I am still under the influence of the therapist I was who made fun of me as if I were someone so stupid, but did not help truly,and actually he pulled me into my current situation).
I am noticing that some children of these toxic parents are living in another country. Or at the other side of the country, town – another psychologist told me: thus one knows this phenomen in mental health care – one does not need to be made wrong for it: the therapist told me “I was flighting” and “kind of stupid” that I want to live elsewhere. The another, much better psychologist told me that I´d better stay “here”, because I would not make it “elsewhere”. I left her, too. I spend most of my life not “in my home country” and I was so good there. I have no more connection with my “home country”.
Unfortunately, I must live with my mother now, in the “home country” (because of serious of events that led to my sickness and I was not able to go back, keep the job…so I ended up there where I never wanted and never was. I hope it is “just” a karmic lesson -:).

I had been actually also abused by my family about my nationality (ancestors), who were Germans, but I was not told. It happened that I lived there anyway (perhaps also some karma, because I wanted to live in France, but Germany offered scholarships, not France. I was so much supportive towards me and I learned there so much). I was told stories by my grandfather about “they will kill you”, “they will exclude you”, ” you are not one of them” (what I never wanted, I had just scholarships, studied there…)..also the stories that when I leave my “home country”, I will be expelled from Germany, I will end up poor, without help and my family will not take me back (yes, the financial abuse).
I guess that my grandfather made a pretty big influence on me (together with my mother´s subtle way to move me into the obligation staying with them. They must have know that I was not a fit for “my home country”).
Already caught up in my current situation, I figured out about the ancestors. It was a shock for me. Also understanding (of the manipulation from my family).
I felt safe being far away -I felt safe only being far away. It was pretty sure that they will not come to visite me, they will not call etc.

I love that you chose to find out who you are (I believe this is what I don´t know, any child of narcs probably knows well…and this is unfortunately responsible for the insecurity in financial and social life in myself, so narcs can empower me). I can imagine that it takes a long time to figure out who ones is. I would have loved to have such a help. I read that the Jungian therapy and the individualisation slow process is a better help for some children of narcs (it was the first in my growth what I found, but just a coaching, no real psychotherapy). Otherwise, I ended up alomst as Carrie or the Black Swan -films. Both, pushed and died by their own defenses to be someone who they never had the chance to develop.
I hope that there is some hope about it.

It seems very empowering, to consciously choose, what it is more important than money. Thank you !
(the financial, social security scares me in my physical existance – I have a PTDS in this area, from my baby time, it is about food I guess, physical surving, and thus the social, financial abuse keeps me caught up. At least, I guess it is what I think and why I am caught up). I am mainly defending against the abuse, and it does not help me this way.



Dear Lisa,
comment 196,

lots of support and life.
I´d move if I had a place I would like to want to live. However, I would prepare for it well (even years). I was in an emotionally, socially abusive relationship with the ex, it was unfortunately in my dream country (when I was escaping my family, my mother) -and I met an abuser there. Not so great. I wanted to shake him off after 1 year, he did not want. It took me another 3 years, but I actually had to move away. It helped. Changing the clima, the places, the memories with him… shake him off physically.
Perhaps I could return, but it was good to make the break.
Especially when I had /have/ no other support, it is tough to set the boundaries with someone who is practically next door (physically). There is little space for healing.
I also don´t want to live in the home town, even the home country. Before I got into bigger problems from buse, it was not because of the memories, but because of no-fit.
It is intersting, in astrology, there is carthography maping the best place to live, based on the energies in the birth time.
However, if you can keep up the boundaries and like the town, have friends there, I´d not move.


To Kristina, Hope and well, everybody here,

It is so sad how pervasive this Narc thing is since everybody telling their story and recounting their pain right here on this blog prove how many victims there must be out there. There are so many that are still in the dark wondering what on earth is going on with their families. I learned so late in life that my mother is a narcissist but boy oh boy what a great thing it was to learn. Finally I could make sense of the terrible treatment I had received from her and my flying monkey sister. Memories come back and I realize that I was so entrenched in being the one out of favor that I accepted abuse so easily. And not just from my FOO either. I married another NARC the first go round. I was a ready target because of my childhood training.

I went NC last year with my mother and I guess that I wasn’t ready emotionally for that because I just couldn’t accept that she didn’t care whatsoever. I mean, what mother says, “OK fine. Don’t be in my life anymore.”. I would not accept that so I contacted her after about 5 months. She said that she was happy to hear from me and that she wanted things to be good between us, but that was just another lie. She made no effort, other than initiating some phone calls to me whereas for many years I had to make contact with her. For some reason she just didn’t want to call me. She said that she couldn’t afford the long distance charges. Anyway she would call me but it became evident early in the renewed contact that she didn’t care at all. I stopped all contact shortly after that. Fast forward another 5 months and this time she contacts me via a birthday card with a short phrase on the bottom which read “I am sorry for everything. I would take it all back if I could”. Well, I was ELATED when I received this card. I honestly believed that I had the ONE NM who would change! Lucky me! I called her immediately upon getting the card but I knew before that day ended that I was wrong about her changing. The conversation on her end was a never ending litany about her troubles and woes and news recaps on everyone she values in her life (how much she values anyone is very dubious). She wasn’t interested in me or my husband. Several calls and an in person visit confirmed what I thought but I still continued the calls, while not frequent I did speak with her. I was trying to convince myself that she was different – why she even asked me about my beloved pets and my husband on the calls! Surely she was a good mother, right?? Then I realized how little I was willing to accept from her so that I wouldn’t have to face reality. For the third time I believe that I am done with her. One step forward and two steps backward I guess. I am only human and I cut myself way more slack than I used to. As for my sister, I went NC with her 3 years ago and never looked back. She and my mother always treated me as an outsider so it was easy to forget about her but with the mother it’s always harder. The mother as a loving person is a prevailing myth. I know that there are many wonderful mothers out there – in fact most of my friends are beautiful loving mothers, but as we know that is not a given. Some are overtly horrible, some sneakily cruel, some even murder their children.

So what have I learned that I can maybe share? Nothing Earth shattering that hasn’t been said before but just the same; It’s not our fault, we are victims of sick and evil people who want to hurt their children. We are WAY harder on ourselves than people who grew up knowing love are on themselves. We need to be kind to ourselves and stop the negative self talk. We need to have tons of patience with ourselves. Growing up with parents who can’t give love is a huge handicap but it can be managed. I don’t expect that I will ever be able to let it all go – that would not be a reasonable expectation but I now believe that I can manage it. I know that some days will be very good but that there will be sad days too.

God bless each of you and may God help you in your journeys to happiness. I am grateful for this forum. It’s been very helpful to hear everyone’s stories and know that I am not alone. Thank you Darlene for your work.


Hi Lynne,

So much of what you wrote here I can relate to. I always felt like an outsider in my family. I gave my father several chances and he showed me every time that he just did not care. When I was done with doing all of the work in the relationship there was no relationship.

I like what you said about being handicapped by our upbringing, but one can manage it. I agree. I don’t expect to be able to let it all go either. Some days are very good and some days are sad. Just like you said.

Thanks for your kind words. We are all grateful to be here on EFB.


Hi Kristina,
So glad you are back, and feeling a bit better after a re-coup. I am still here as I have so much to learn and since I don’t trust any therapist in my area (especially since I see my sister getting worse after 20 years of therapy and with her heavy meds) I want to do the healing work on my own. About my sister, I think she is a narc too, but also the Golden Child/Scapegoat (depending on the situation).

My mother had her 64th birthday yesterday and I called her, for the first few minutes she was such a hypochondriac until she saw she didn’t get her way. Now I can see her intentions and I don’t get as sucked into her covert abuse. For the first time in my life I didn’t hang up the phone and feel like an idiot.

Hi Lynne,
Your story made me sad about the card you received from your mother and no need to have earth shattering things to say to be hurt, I don’t either. But you just telling your story really touched me. I hope you do find the happiness we all seek and that all the bad thoughts of your FOO finally leave your head/life. My bad thoughts just go round and round in circles. And any time anyone treats me bad I feel like that little child I was that would scream to myself in private. But at least now I learn from these issues and have a better understanding of how to not allow it to happen as often. Good on you for NC, I can’t seem to go to that extent yet, mine only lasted 3 months and the whole time I was a nervous wreck. The long road to healing is still ahead.

Thank you Darlene from me too.
Cheers Hope xx


Today I was in the grocery store and a young child was having a screaming crying tantrum “I WANT…(unintelligible)”. It sounded like she was saying she wanted to go home. It went on and on and on for 15 or 20 minutes. I did see the mother mostly ignore her and at one point stroke her head…she continued with her shopping.

I found it triggering; that child was screaming on the outside, and as a child I was screaming on the inside. I felt like the little girl whose mother ignored what she wanted and didn’t hear her. Over and over again, all the time. I almost started crying. I know I’m projecting and I don’t really know what was happening.

I am sad that I have little connection with people about my FOO experience, my current actions I have taken (very low contact), how my relationships are with my siblings, etc. Everyone is busy, everyone has their problems. Most of my friends are married (I am not) and I find with get-togethers every couple of weeks or so there just isn’t the time to develop a closer friendship with these kinds of discussions. It is isolating. It’s also tricky talking negatively about family (especially one’s mother) – there seems to be a stigma against it. And one sibling who has met some of my friends (and even had a limited friendship years ago with one) is sweet as can be to them, so I’m uneasy talking about the bullying…will I be believed?


I don’t remember which poster(s) mentioned the issue of beauty and body image, but that is another thing that has affected me deeply for many years.

I started being told I was “fat” and “disgusting” at about 11 years old.
It seemed like every time I was around family or so-called friends, somebody would be saying that I was fat, ugly, etc.

And the truth was that I was actually VERY tiny and petite. I was never even close to being fat or overweight as a child, teenager, or young adult in my 20’s.

My self-esteem was shattered very early in life. Like many of you here, I’ve had the misfortune of being surrounded by Narcs. There was even the classic “golden child” in my family…a cousin who was held up as the epitome of perfection, especially compared to me. I was the scapegoat who was bullied and treated like crap most of the time.

Being called fat and ugly pushed me into an eating disorder as a young girl, despite already being naturally thin.
I look at pictures of myself at the age of 16-17 and my arms were ridiculously skinny, but people were calling me fat. I was convinced that I was hideous and no one would ever care about me.

I think that Narcs hone in on their victim’s insecurities in an evil, insidious, and damaging way.
They know what buttons to push to really hurt you. Another thing certain toxic people liked to say was that my hair was ugly…as a woman of mixed heritage, this is racist and offensive to hear.

I was also ridiculed anytime I made an effort to look nice. My aunt and certain others would say the most cruel things about me wearing lipstick. “Who does she think she is?” and “You look so stupid”. My cousin would parade around with her cleavage spilling out on display for the world to see, but me wearing lipstick was bad. I wasn’t allowed to feel pretty or to enjoy being a girl.


Thank you for your kindness. My thoughts go round and round too but I have found, only recently that they are beginning to slow down a lot. I am no longer recounting as many bad experiences as I had been. Maybe I am coming to terms with everything, I really hope that’s the case, this time. I know what you mean about the anxiety of trying to go NC. I had tremendous anxiety from it (both two attempts) which I believe was from guilt. Guilt that, of course, I should not have owned but I also realized that my mother was a very skilled in making me feel guilty when she wanted me to. I bet you know what I’m talking about – not just words, or carefully crafted phrases, but the looks and the sighs. Anyway I felt a dark cloud hanging over me and a deep pit in my stomach every single day. Now, please understand that when I said I was NC again (this is the 3fd time) it’s only been one week – ha! We will see how I do this time. Over the past four years when I started to get real serious about dealing with the issue once and for all, I developed a phobia about being driven in the car. I absolutely cannot tolerate my husband driving me anywhere. It’s so crazy and illogical but I have not been able to beat it – yet. Please do whatever it is that you need to do to deal with your situation and give yourself time. You don’t need to go NC if you don’t want to. You may be ready at some point, or maybe not, but this is no reflection on you. And for some of us NC is not the answer. Please take care of you.

I felt like an outsider in my family when I turned 17. From that point onward I didn’t feel loved, supported or cared about. It seemed like my mother really ramped up her animosity towards me and she took my sister along for the ride, which wasn’t hard to do anyway. I spent the next 4 decades trying to win approval from the two of them. My dad passed away when I was in my late twenties so he didn’t figure into too much but he never defended me against them either. I guess all of us felt that way because we come from aberrant families. Loving people don’t do that to their daughters, sons, sisters, nieces, etc. I also think that people like them are incapable of feeling real love. Please be good to yourself Andria. You deserve love and happiness.


Hey Lynne,

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am sorry how your family treated you. Yup, loving people do not act in this manner. I try to be good to myself. I do have some love and happiness. I hope you do as well.


Also, I realized early in life that I had to work hard for people to care about me even on a basic level.
Even in my relationships with men (including my husband at times) it’s always been implied that I’m never quite good enough.

When it comes to my mother, I was doing really well with rebuilding my relationship with her a few years ago.
My stepfather has succeeded in coming between us once again, and she is in denial.

I understood growing up that I didn’t matter to anyone. I knew that no matter how abusive my stepfather is/was, my mother would choose him EVERY. TIME.
He treated me terribly for years and she stood by him. More than ever, I’m still haunted by my experiences despite attempting therapy.

Maybe this is why I have trouble respecting people who choose abusive partners over the welfare of their kids.
It can really screw children up when they become adults. My mom never considered my feelings about the whole situation…it was all about THEM (her and my stepfather) and their relationship. I was viewed as a problem that they wanted out of the way. They wanted me out of sight so they could party, go on vacations, etc.

Being treated this way, among other things I’ve experienced, has made me feel invisible.
I am in my thirties and there is still a little girl inside who yearns for approval and validation. To be told that she is smart, pretty, and worthy of love…the opposite of what I was actually told about myself.
I have always been “second rate” according to toxic people, starting with my family of origin.


Hi Melinda
The whole “being invisible” thing was huge for me. Realizing it and then standing up to be seen was HUGE. Not everyone liked it but I like it! But first I learned to give myself the validation and approval that I longed for and that is really what changed everything.
Thanks so much for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

How did you give yourself the validation and approval? Did you repeat affirmations, meditate, etc? Was there a certain technique?

Thank you, Light


Side note: I think the reason why I am so messed up internally is coz from Primary School and all the way through High School I would learn important life lessons, then I’d go home and tell my parents during dinner time and all my father and mother (who never even finished Primary School) would say to me was “What would those stupid teachers know? Don’t bring that garbage home, we do things our way and don’t you ever defy us!”. So all along I knew my parents were wrong but I had no choice in any matter, I would get shut down no matter what I said. Instead of them learning the right way, they messed me up too. And as an adult they were more aggressive and say to me “This person or that person has ruined you” because I had a different opinion to them when I was surrounded by my “normal” friends. Or more recently they would say “We want you near us, what is wrong with you?” or “What is so important that you can’t come to see us?” Any answer I give them will never satisfy them so I have learnt to either change the subject or say in general that I am too busy to go.

I’m not sure if I am doing the right thing, all I know is that I am happy to not be fighting with my FOO every time we talk and happy to not see them in person. At least over the phone I can hang up if they really upset me, but in person they really crawl under my skin and I have no escape. What really irks me is that my sister has not spoken to me since I had the last straw fight with our parents and she took their side. My parents don’t ever bring her up in ANY phone call, they wrap her up in cotton wool and pretend like there is NO elephant in the room. I don’t understand it and I will not go over their house just to pretend all is glorious between my sister and I, as she lives with our parents. My biggest problem is my sister as she always hides behind our NM’s skirt.

A bit of an overview of my sister: During her High School years she had all the pressure on her to get amazing grades and by the end of Year 12 she had her first nervous breakdown, I was there to support her (as our parents were nowhere to be seen). Up until then she was my carer as our parents were too busy working hard getting rich and wasting time with others and totally neglecting me. Then when I lived overseas she had her second breakdown, to which I found out about it 2 years later and my NM blamed me incessantly for not supporting her. Then, she got married and it lasted 3 months as our NM ruined it for her, I got blamed for not supporting her again (and she just sat there laughing at me for being blamed for things that had nothing to do with me). The thing that pains me the most is that the person that I was closest to has treated me the worst. I guess only I thought we were close, she had her bad intentions from childhood but I was so blind I wanted to believe we were close and that we loved each other (and not being two-faced). At least with my parents it was clearer that they disliked me. Now I see it (with my sister albeit a bit late), but I don’t like it. Now I must move forward with this knowledge of my FOO. I hope I make sense, it is all unraveling in my head, it is slowly and painfully making sense and now I am playing the catch up game to all the things I missed out on in childhood (guidance and learning those life lessons again).

Thanks, Hope xx


OMG! Light #226, you just triggered a few things I have dealt with in my life not having kids. I find it super hard to develop new relationships on that level, for that reason. I am in a de facto relationship, but everyone treats us like we are married so that has never been a problem or issue for me luckily.

The other main thing that happened my whole life (or at least with the people I complained about my NM to and then they met her) I would get seriously slammed firstly coz as soon as they would meet her they would tell me how super pretty she is (which I was ok with) but then she would use her charm on them and be super (fake)nice to them and totally throw them off her evil scent. So after that, they never believed anything I said. It made my life hell. Thank you for expressing it in words, I finally feel validated.

I think with certain people I will always be nothing to them and they are so happy to keep me in that situation as it suits them. It doesn’t suit me any more so that is why I have shut out a lot of people who I know will never give me the respect I need. My extended FOO and school friends treat me worse, so they are out too.

Cheers Hope xx


Hi Darlene. And everyone at EFB.
I’m new here.

I started watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt about four days ago and it broke open the damn of childhood emotions, memories, and abuses. I finally realized how messed up my parents are. And this is the first website I came across after googling how to set boundaries with abusive parents.

After reading here for the last two days I’ve never felt so broken and yet validated.

At 18 months the “cute family story” if I walked a ridge of a barn to bring my father a tool. I had not realized how little value I had in his eyes until putting it together today. My life was worth less than a babysitter or getting his own self down and fetching the tool.
At six I cried in their bathroom because I was afraid of being spanked. With a belt. My sister who was five came in and held me stoically. She lied and got punished instead. I have felt guilt all my life for not being able to protect my sisters. Shortly afterwards I started to be physically punished whenever my sisters were. Because I was the older one and should be preventing them from being naughty.
I tried to run away to my babysitter’s. I was beaten very badly after being dragged home.
I was dragged out from under my bed because our room was a mess and my bed was unmade. I was hit a lot.
At seven I was supposed to be preparing for baptism in the Mormon Church. I felt like it was too big. Too much. I acted out in church. Then my father called me to his office upstairs.
He railed at me. How dare I be unwilling to be baptized. How dare I disrespect him. I was a dirty filthy sinner and a brat. He even told me there was no way I was being tempted by Satan that this was all me being horrible. He looked at me with such hatred and disgust.

All my life I was told I was shy, overly sensitive, over emotional, dirty, a pig, when I dyed my hair a dark red in high school I was told that red hair is color of women of the night. I was born with bright red hair.
I got breasts early. Between 10 and 11 they started to grow. I was shamed from that time onwards to cover any sort of cleavage and to wear a padded bra to prevent nipples from showing. One night the family went to watch TV late and I wore a nightgown without a bra underneath. I was 11. My mother rushed me out of the room and said I was making my father uncomfortable.
You see my uncle was convicted of sexually abusing his daughter. And my father sent him money to fight the courts. Sent him money to file appeals. My parents let my uncle phone the house and talk to us girls. The topics weren’t sexual but he was so creepy I tried to avoid the calls and was told I had to talk to him to be polite. My parents also took us on vacation to visit extended family. We ended up staying at my uncle’s house. We were told we couldn’t say anything about it because it would get him in trouble.
That part of the FOO is so messed up. My paternal grandmother once forced me at 7 to write and rewrite a thank you note to her before I could eat lunch at her house.
At 12 again my father took me into his office and showed me how to budgey. He explained that my mother spent too much money on groceries and clothes and she was why we were poor. I didn’t know at the time but he was sinking thousands of dollars every year into the farm we lived on. Into collecting cameras. Into collecting Barbies.
My mom was 15 when she met him. He’s 8 yrs older. He claims she chased him and trapped him into marriage. She was pregnant by 17. That’s not her trapping him. That’s him being a pedophile. He’s so toxic. And while I’m struggling with.my mom being a victim too she also did not protect us children.

I realized everything he did for us kids was to make him look good or about the value of others.
Every year when our homeschooling books came my father went on about how expensive they were and how he still had to pay taxes. He loved that we were homeschooled though and bragged about it all the time. I was hit for making mistakes. During handwriting years he told us about his teachers using sandpaper to teach him how to read and write. As though being hit was better. Or shoved against a wall and told to stand there in shame until he said to get up was better. Sometimes my sisters and I stood until bedtime.

During childhood I was a bully to and bullied by my younger sisters. My sister told me a story today of my father watching while my nephew hit a baby bird with a stick and pointed out he said he felt like he couldn’t do anything (she meant to punish him). She told this story to prove how he had changed. But that’s what he did our whole childhoods. If one of us hit the other one, he never stepped in. That is so…I just can’t even. It’s sadistic.

He had a way of crushing dreams and then pointing out when you gave up on them. I wanted to be an astronaut. He said I’d never be able to last through boot camp in the air force. He got into my face and shouted things that his drill sergeant used to say. When I started sobbing (I was 13) he shoved his finger in my face and said that’s why you’ll never be an astronaut.
At nine I did a project where I drew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a doctor, a teacher, Indiana Jones (archeologist), astronaut, and a mom. I proudly put them up on my bedroom wall. He tore them down and then beat me for leaving tape marks on cheap paneling.

Money always went to making improvements on the farm. Buying equipment. The bedroom I lived in most of my life had mold in it for 25 plus years. Gee. I wonder why I was always sick!
Doctor’s visits were cancelled, we were allowed to go to the dentist once when my mom paid for the visit by doing a painting for the dentist even though my father had dental through work. I remember having such a high fever I was delirious. All I wanted was popsicles. I got the popsicles but I should have gone to the doctor.
Another time I had walking pneumonia. I almost died but he told me just to shower and go outside and breathe the cold air. Another time I ended up with influenza. The kind that can kill you. I wasn’t taken to the doctor. I didn’t eat for four days because I was so sick. I crawled to the kitchen on the fourth day (really I crawled because I was so weak) and my mom got me to eat a little piece of toast.

There is so much more that I’ve been hiding from myself for so many years. He almost killed my younger sister twice beating her. We were left in a pool be ourselves and my toddler sister almost drowned. (I was 6-7 and supposed to watch her). All my life being told by him how my mom gave up an art career for us. Never mind he’d kept her from having a career for years before.

I’m so angry. And so relieved to know I never have to see or speak to h again if that’s what makes me feel safe. Thank you for this amazing site.


Hi G. I feel the same way finding this site – so broken, yet validated. I struggle with no contact with my parents. So many have encouraged me that no contact is best. Yesterday I had a chat with a woman and wow she shared her story and told me repeatedly: no contact.

What I have learned is that when I let my guard down for a second with my parents – they throw an attack which unlocks decades of pain in me. Trying to have a dialogue with them is impossible. The blatant lies – even when you produce evidence – never stop. I am determined to put myself first and not tolerate people who thrive on hurting me. When you remove yourself from that “stage” – they turn on each other. My mother told me I had no idea how horrible it is living with my father now that she was the only one at home. Seriously, my childhood was a nightmare – she married him. She used me as a shield to take my father’s abuse. I used to have empathy for her but now realize she is a bigger problem than my father. I hope this helps you let go, move on, and stay away..


Also, while I am on a roll. My NM never let my sister and I to where lipstick coz she said only sluts wear it…does that mean she is one? And to this day I have only worn lipstick a handful of times. I never felt feminine as I was never allowed to wear skirts, high heels or beautiful clothes (I lived in hand-me-downs).

I remember my NM constantly telling us “Men are idiots” and when I met my first boyfriend at 20, my opening line was “Men are idiots”. I would never say that now, back then I was repeating what was familiar to me. No wonder I had no idea what I was saying. I would never offend any man now, I get along mainly with men and they have been my best friends, as they have not given me as much grief as the women in my life.

I love being active and most women around me just want to waste time gossiping and talking about girly things. That gets so boring to me, I don’t want to waste my energy on superficial things. Having to expel all my energy on explaining to them that I love living life and not just bagging out others was so draining.

What about the privacy issues growing up, with no locks allowed on any door in the house, not even the bathroom. The private diaries that NM read. Or the TV zapping she would do if anyone on screen kissed. Or her constant craving for attention, no one was ever allowed to talk but her. Or the singing in the car, she would sing the whole trip. Or how she wanted to be a Doctor. Or at home we would have to listen to her music and learn all the words to each song and then have sing-a-longs with her, with a smile. Or the food she forced us to eat and then praise her food for ages after we ate and spread the word to our friends. Or how we were forced to answer the phone and talk to her people that would abuse us and we had to take it. Or the obvious stalking and then she would spring up on me as if it were normal to just drag me away from wherever I was in broad daylight and cause a huge scene in front of whoever I was innocently talking to, just in case I “might do something wrong”. I was never caught doing anything WRONG, I was caught doing NOTHING and being blamed for being a rebel. She was always two steps ahead of me, or so she thought. I had NO intentions of being a rebel, I didn’t want to be one. I was tired of the constant daily accusations and I am surprised it took me this long to snap.

And all of this behind closed doors. She was soooo different in front of others. It eludes me how she never got caught out. Not only were we never given pep talks as chids, we were driven to madness. I had developed really bad anger issues from that and I am proud to say I have dealt with it, the last 12 months. I had no idea what “normal” was, and sometimes still not sure.


Hi Melinda,

I am very sorry for your experience with the body-shaming.
It must be very painful for you.

I started to remember past months that I have a similar experience.
As you say, obviously, some child of Narcs has a bigger connection to the body, and thus it is its sensitivity and Narcs naturally feel into (as sensitive people themselves), but use it in order to manipulate, hurt.
It reminds me the fairy tale of Snow white and her NM who made her body be so bad.
I was told to be skinny (as a skeleton), to be a dwarf (my NM is smaller than me !), to wear glasses and thus never be accepted to college and study because of that (I cried that time, and this has helped, otherwise, I would have probably not finished a secondary school out of fear of being “wrong”). However, I also heard that I was fat sack and that people in the village were laughing at me (while I was skinny) -being fat was in the mind of the borderline monster grandmother, being skinny was in the mind of the NM (her daughter).
I had many nasty comments about my hair (cruel names, too long….my NM run with scissors after me: the day of my leaving exam at secondary school and such “accidents” -where she put me down).
She also loved to pick upon my skin: my face. Even 2 years ago she dared to say (I was 33 )that she would not dare to go out with such face skin as mine (she infected me). I yelled at her that time because I knew no better. It helped. She never allowed to mention it again. Unless, sometimes she looks at me with pitty looks.
My NM is not a beauty queen. She is fat. When she was a child, she was soo skinny /she did not eat regularly, she threw food behind the bed and parents let her: she must have been the Golden Child/, doctors wanted to send her to some health care instituation to teach her how to eat.
It is in her memory. She projects it on me. Since more than 30 years. No problem for her.
If I´d pick up on her (some comments about her weight, she ´d be after me: not directly, but in a sneaky way, later, with some revange. In the moment, she´d show her passive-aggressive anger).
But I never did. I don´t want to do to others what had been done to me.

I read an article about the Snow-white Narcs mothers: they often push their daughters into being “perfect” (clothes, look), but somehow tell them underline how terribly looking they are (there is something wrong with their body, and thus, with the value of their Self: the feminine body is more susceptible to this than those of men, I guess).

I watch “live your truth” by Carol Tuttle videos. It helps me to identify that physical appearance is ok, it is good to like oneself….and probably, I was the Snow white, the beauty child ( as you were petit, small, beautiful child with beautiful hair).
I actually developped a fear of my physical body existance: it is not so much about my appearance (I believe that I am not pretty, and it does not interest me much, I want to be recognised for my thinking), it is more about my physical existance: being allowed, have the right to live. Parents can pull the child into this by picking at his body…and allowing other children doing so.
Snow white was killed by her mother (only some good uncle-guy helped her and she survived among the dwarfs: in childhood unconsciousness of her body and feminine beauty).
I know about my grandmother and mother who systematically did it to me, that they were afraid of men…they have some problem in this area. They compensate it on their daughter. It is envy -not sure for what. Maybe “men resources” ?, physical peace ?, joy in the body, developping the own identity ? I bet my NM want all of this, but is not willing to do anything for it, but stealing from me.
This is probably she started to pick up on my body from my early age.
Many women do it, they see themselves in their physical appearance as a “concurrence”, competition.
It is sad.

Perhaps if I had not this “physical vibration”, they would have picked up on other things on me.
My NM also ridiculed me for the way how I moved (too fast, too harsh), yelled at me that I was not competent (to transfer a pot from kitchen table to the kitchen units or lift something from the floor etc): I did not do it right, in her way. She took it from my hands. Also preparing of food in the kitchen (unless for pealing anything, and similar “servant stuff” – I was good enough for it).
I am still thinking that my body is uncompetent in its function.
I think that she has me well in her hands (my mind, my emotions and my body).

Around my age of 13, I also developpped an eating disorder. I stopped eating, I ate only fruits. I felt too fat. Also, my arms, legs were so tiny.
Underneath, I believe that I wished to die, to punish my body through starving.
I stopped it when I was 15 and was in a new school (no abuse there of mine), I had friends. They were eating, they had breast developped etc, so I started to eat normally, again. But, my body never developped this way it would have been (breast, or at least, I think so, as I am very skinny, and my NM and grandmother had huge breasts).

I found there is some articles about psychology of food: always related to mother-daughter pathological relationship. Mothers control their daughters in their bodies, often also through food (my situation, NM controlled what I eat -usually she wanted unhealthy food for me, when I eat: irregular: I always rebelled and won, but…the quarrel was tireding). My NM also never allowed me to cook (her cuisine,her territory). If I did not manage to escape to far away from her some part of my life, I would have never learned how to make pasta…until today, I cannot cook in order to nourish myself properly. I do some simple stuff, but often, it does not give me the nourishment I would need.

I am intersted in the ayurvedic medicine, the body care, inclusive eating. It truly helps me to know that I am right to care for my body, for my nourishment, for my skin. Also the “living and dressing your truth” is bringing insights into who I am and how it shows in my body. I am normal. Crazy is my NM.
I am not so far to be interested in fashion, in my hair, etc, but I have a mirror close to my bed and look often into it, watch my hair and I get “used to myself”. I even cut my hair (I am not going to hairdresser, it is too expensive for me) and kept it, watch it that I truly exist. My hair is beautiful.
Despite the narcs in my childhood. My body is ok. It is beautiful.
If I had the opportunity and money, I ´d go to hairdressers, I would learn how to put makeup or some fancy clothes and do it as a form of enjoying myself.
Own my Self. My body. My existance. Be conscious of it.


Hi Hope,

thank you !
I also don´t trust the psychotherapist anymore.
I try to help myself on my own, so far, too.
There are no physical ones in my area anymore I would trust.
I hope to find somebody online.
Nonetheless, don´t give up hope. Darlene wrote that it takes only one to get better ! Don´t give up the search for help.


Hi Hope and everyone,

NC mothers seem to love to destroy the body-image of their daughters.

About the lipstick, yes, I had also almost never wore lipstick, only in younger age when I was far away from NM. The women in the family I was born to, did not beautify themselves. It might come from my borderline grandmother who might have called my mother a slut.
Grandmother looked (and dressed) like a witch from a fairy tale, mother makes the appearance of a well-cared-decent lady.

My mother actually pays attention to her fashion, visites the hairdresser, she was making her own dresses for her. As a child, I needed to be properly dressed (maybe fashionable, I had lots of clothes, made by my mother as well). Mother controlled what I will dress. There were always disputes, she was always after me. From the puberty it had gone. She started to neglect me, but started to threaten me in a different way (picking up on me, stopped talking to me in the public when I was not dressed the way she apparently wanted, out of the blue. I felt she was ashamed for me). She never gave me any advice, only criticism. The neglect seems to me like a sort of revange. Followed by the criticism.

I started to dress with skirt or dress when I was 25, I also bought earings. It was fun.
Only I never could have been seen by my mother this way. I know that she would have revanged to me. The best, she watched me with this condescending, ever-present threatening ragefull look.
I am still very much afraid of this look. It is like she would promise to do big harm to me. Without any word, any touch. The threat of a physical or any other punishment for having joy in my body is still there.
I noticed it well once when she caught me in bathing suit on the sunshine (I always cared to be properly dressed when I knew she was coming home). She was openly having fun when she saw how I feel uncomfortable how she watches me and when I headed to get dressed ). It was like she could have not hiden her joy of hurting my body so successfuly without words, touch -to which I cannot protect unless I am truly a mind reader. There is no evidence.
I think that I feel a terrible shame/guilt for my body, the feminine body from those mother treatments. A true sin that deserves a punishment, especially to enjoy the body.

If I were somewhere, in younger age, having fun, having my hair free, maybe even with some nice dress, earings, make up, with some people around and my mother would show up, I ´d probably faint out of fear of her revange/rage and of what a mistake I did to allow myself being so unprotected against her.

Since a child, I knew I must cover all my body parts.
Unless she would pick on me, or gives me her condescending narcs looks and sneaky revanges later. I need to protect my body this way.
I could have not risen any possible rage of mother.
I must look shabby, invisible.
I put my earings in the bag when I had to see mother. I had worn old trousers. Always something to cover my chest up as much as possible. Without a jacket, I feel attackable from her, even today, in mid 30´s.

I noticed she observes this way also other people. But, of course, I am her Nr. 1 target.

I had never had my cupboard. Never mentioned. I did not know that other children had their own cupboards (there was space).
I had my clothes in the cupboard of the mother.
I guess she sneaks through.
I also put my hair into a pony tail, never let it be free.


Hi Kristina,
Thank you for making me feel validated with your comforting words. I would like to tell you about my FOO, my NM and the hatred they have for me.

What my NM did to me in my 20’s when I got my eyes checked and needed long distance glasses. I got my prescription and wore my frames, my NM would cause a huge scene every time I wore them by saying: “Our family doesn’t wear glasses, we have good eyes”. So I felt super self-conscious and never wore them until now that I need them to read as well as when I drive. It is a pattern she has, coz she and my father have worn reading glasses since their 40’s. My NM did the same thing with smoking, with mini dresses, with cooking and everything else SHE did, and didn’t want me to do. Double standards galore.

Speaking of cooking, another issue my NM tried to take credit for without contributing to me learning how to cook. I was really lucky (in my 20’s) to have a long-term boyfriend that wanted to learn to cook with me, and HIS mother taught us the basics, then we took it to another level on our own. And thanks to my love of cooking I now can cook anything I want (with the help of a dew hundred cook-books…lol!). The only thing I can give credit to my mother is her love of health foods and hatred for processed foods. I have adopted this lifestyle and happy to say it has helped me not get sick often in my life.

A few things you said triggered my memories about the body image. I think people in general detect when someone is not totally comfortable with their body. I have always been conscious of mine for being flat chested, so the narcs in my life have milked it in many ways. As if it isn’t bad enough that we feel awkward about ourselves, they rub it in our faces too. It is so cruel, I would never do that to anyone. How come the saying “Do unto others, as you would like them to do unto you” doesn’t apply in my life? I have been respectful and nice to everyone around me but no one EVER reciprocated it.

About the clothes issue, this one is a really big one for me. Long story short, I was working in the Fashion Industry for many years (as I am a qualified Designer, and I thought at a younger age that it would help me find my Self-Esteem) and I had some really expensive designer clothes which I left at my NM’s house when I bought my own house. A month after I went back to pick up my things my NM took half of my clothes and sold them at the markets for a few dollars (which cost me thousands to buy) only so she can see me really angry.

Another really hurtful thing she did recently was to throw away all my Art things I made in Primary School. I thought she would respect them and keep them forever but her excuse was “We have no space in the house”, which is a total lie as her house is huge with many empty rooms in it.

What about the time I bought her some really expensive (which I rarely buy her expensive things as she owns everything she needs) kitchen gadgets for her 60th birthday, since she complained about hers blowing up. I gave them to her with a birthday cake I made (which took me 4 hours to make as it was very technical and I love doing amazing designs) for her and drove 3 hours to take these things to her only for her to laugh at my face as the cake had moved a bit in the car and wasn’t perfect anymore. A month later she sold the appliances at the markets for a few dollars. I saw a pattern develop so I stopped giving her anything. And that is also another reason I will never let her come over my house ever again. She believes she is entitled to take anything she wants from me without asking or telling me until I discover the loss, and then she would lie and say I gave her whatever she took. I won’t even describe the private drawers or safe she discovered and told everyone about…and then denied she said anything. So draining.

Another one my NM did to me was when my partner and I took our one and only long holiday away, I asked my parents to look after our house, our animals and our large garden. Only to come back home and she created so much chaos I am still getting over it 4 years later. She let the animals run rampant at night when there are wild animals that can kill mine at any time (we put them indoors before 6pm everyday), she nearly killed off my massive garden we live off, by not watering it the whole time we were away and she destroyed all my friendships. She also broke some really expensive things I had in the kitchen and she pretended to be sorry about them but had a sarcastic smile on her face. We also allowed them to sleep in our bed and they complained about it the whole time. And when they left, they left a huge mess that took me a week to clean up (even though at her house she is OCD about the cleaning and she knows how OCD I am about it too, since she made me that way).

Also, I have been wanting to lose about 5 kilos in the past 5 years but I have been so unhappy I never felt like I could do it. Now I am getting a bit more active and talking about my issues and reading heaps about them, it is helping me tremendously, even though I have a tonne of issues to deal with on a daily basis.
Thanks for listening to me.

Cheers, Hope xx


Now that I know how over-controlling and over-bearing my NM is (for no good reason at all) I see life in a different light. I especially feel overwhelmed when I see kids who are out of control and their parents don’t discipline them. I will never know what it is like to have freedom as a child (and for most of my adult life). I always heard cute stories about people’s lives and felt that those good moments would never happen to me. I always had a really vivid imagination, and that was always the problem, it was an unreachable dream for me. Any time I expressed these thoughts people would look at me like I am an alien (or give me weird looks for not having normal freedom).

Another thing I remember my NM complaining about all through my life was that she would constantly remind my sister and I how awful and painful our births were and extremely long(about 32 hours each) and I felt sooooooo guilty for that till now. She really hated my sister for hurting her during breast-feeding, which lasted a few days and then went on formula. My dad hated (and still deeply hates) her coz she cried none stop for 40 days as a new born so he slapped her and she never cried ever again from the shock (I have never seen her cry ever, even in adult life, she is eerily quiet and shuts her self off from emotions and the world).

They say parents should never have a favorite child, but it was super obvious in my house hold that I was my dads fave and my sister was my mothers. It split us apart. How cunning that my NM had these intentions in such a covert way. I am still angry about that.


One more thing you mentioned Kristina about your hair (and sorry for the long notes), I remember my NM never let me cut my hair as it was an expense she was never willing to pay for or take the time to take me to the hairdresser, just for ME. So I had really long hair down to my bottom without choice and one day it was time to wash my hair and for some reason she had to wash it for me (I can’t remember if I had head-lice or she just never let me wash it on my own) and with her really long manicured red painted nails she was so rough in scrubbing my scalp with shampoo I remember I bled for days. She had so much anger and hatred in her voice, I was wondering what I did to her. I told my dad and he said nothing. But I know I never let her wash my hair ever again after that.


Hope and Kristina,

Funny you should mention hair! What is it about NM that hair is such an issue. My mother would not let me grow it long. I have vivid memories of her cutting my hair on a regular basis in a “pixie cut”. I would sit on a high stool and bawl my eyes out because I hated it so much. Everyone mistook me for a boy for a long, long time. She said I wasn’t able to take care of long hair so she had to cut it. Bitch!


Hi Jessica,
Another hair moment I just remembered from what you said. It was one of those days of having long hair as a kid, we were having breakfast (my sister, NM and I) before going to school and I refused to eat breakfast. My NM started screaming at me to eat and I wouldn’t. She got so fed up she threw the whole glass of milk on my just washed hair. She then grabbed my arm and dragged me to the shower and scrubbed my hair in cold water during winter and I was really late for school thanks to her tantrum.
I just couldn’t understand why she was acting like that when she was the one that drilled into my head that when I was 2 years old I swallowed a coin and lost my appetite, which was a totally made up story but I think she actually believed it and so did I as I would tell people and they would laugh at me. I just can’t believe how gullible I was.


Hi ladies, yes, it is sad with the hair. I am sorry for your experience. Perhaps there is some strenght and power of little girls and women, that NM love to dominate and harm the hair of their daughters to put them down.

Hope, your mother sounds like the queen from the Snow White when washing your hair. Making some effort to show/cause you the pain.
So sad and terrifying what you had to go through.

Jessica, my NM, too, she did not want to have long hair (until I was 10, but also until 15 I had to have still very short hair, only after 15 I made it with longer hair, but she was far more after me with her threats). She also wanted me to look like a boy. She justified it with the fact that long hair is difficult to care for, implied I cannot care for it, I was too stupid. Also, she said that I will get sick with long hair in winter because I must wash it and it will not get dry enough….(scaring me about sickness must have been common with my mother, yes, bitch, she really knew what I was afraid of, where my insecurities are…even though she put me herself into it).
Jessica, do you have long hair, now ?

I also remember the hate NM had towards me in those moments, it must have fueled her. The attacks of hate, envy that turned in her rageous tantrum and in tyranising myself.
I have proof of her hate when I was 1 year old. I´d need to be validated in it that I don´t make it up, but the hate in her face, the hateful light in her eyes, the no-action, the neglect, the condescending, threatening regard was there.
(NM mysogyne ” I will show you who is the boss, I will teach you the pain and break down your self-esteem, I want to see you suffer, also as an adult, you will not be successful, happy adult”).


Hi Kristina,

Yes, almost my entire adult life I have had long hair. I recently cut it to above my shoulders because I am getting older (53) and just thought it would be easier. It is not. I always had to do some kind of styling or whatever and to tell you the truth, I looked in the mirror and saw “boy”. I have let it grow out again, now to about my shoulders and will let it keep going for a while. Short hair just isn’t for me!

I can also relate to the neglect and disdain at a very young age. It is a terrible way to have been raised and requires a lot of effort to overcome. I have vowed to myself I will never give up, we are all worth it!


I see you’ve all been talking about hair and this is a topic change but maybe that’s OK. I just returned from a wedding (niece). It was painful; I felt so irrelevant and consistently overlooked. I found myself giving off this energy of trying too hard, initiating conversations with family members that go nowhere because of non-interest, being too eager to interact and waiting for a little crumb of interest and interaction. I want to stop that. I don’t like taking on that position. While I know it’s about the bride and groom at a wedding, it was painful to see other aunts and uncles engaged and invited into conversations and activities while I was not.

I kept reminding myself of the friends I do have…they are interested in me, and don’t seem bored by me. The indifference at the wedding and the other family gatherings (before and after) did a number on my head.

I hate being scapegoated. I’m angry about what’s been unfairly said about me over the years, how I’ve been made out to be wrong about sexual abuse, about how I’ve been misunderstood and rarely talked with directly, and the lack of love and support. I wish I had the verbal skills years ago to be proactive and defend myself, but I didn’t, and now it feels too late and it would be awkward because no one cares.


Hi Light
This is one of those “in time” things for me. When I went to my father in laws funeral last month, it was the first time that I didn’t feel awkward at something like that. (a large ‘family’ thing where I know people are and have made major judgements about me) and I was actually really comfortable with my decisions, etc. And even more important, I am extremely comfortable with ME. Something you said in your last sentence is KEY; you said I wish I had the verbal skills years ago to be proactive and defend myself, but I didn’t, and now it feels too late and it would be awkward because no one cares.” ~ and it was KEY for me to understand the part that “no one cares”. That was the most painful part because I kept wondering what it was about ME that made them not care… and today I know that it was never about me.
Thank you for sharing,
love and hugs, Darlene


Thanks for sharing your thoughts too. You hit the nail on the head. It isn’t about us. It has always been their choice, their life and they are the ones missing out. I have determined to break the cycle of abuse with my children and hopefully I am successful at it.


Hi Light, Darlene, Jessica, & All,

Yes, it is and was never about us. It is very painful to know that your own family does not care about you. It is a long labyrinth of gestures,words,stories,and untruths that are displayed for us. It is very confusing until you see the light and once you know the truth no one can tell you any different. People can say what they may, but you know what you have to do to save the only person you can save: your own self.


Light and all:

your experience at the wedding reminds me of my friends. ( I am not that far that I can truly see how my family did not care and does not care, but I noticed with friends past years). Similar situation: I engaged conversations, I was the one who cared for others, asked questions (and I was interested), I invited people together, I made it possible for them to visite me and see interesting places, they could have stayed over in my place for free, I asked after their families, I know their life story, but on the whole, no one truly cared for me. They often even did not use my name, did not ask questions, did not offer help…, but I know they spied on me. It is not true that “they had no information”. The ignorance had a purpose.
to show me who is the boss, that I must plead for their attention, friendship….the same way my NM works with me.

When I fell sick, most of them disappeared, I was of no use to them.
The last of “friends”, dropped when I asked for help (challenged them) -which I never did before.
Some did not ask after me for years, some dropped when I was not fine with the way they treated me (some false promises, trying to get me to a place where they´d have some profit, I was even verbally attacked back that there was something wrong in my head to not be fine with false promises. Often even after 10 years of friendship. It was shocking for me. Perhaps it was a “learning lesson” to train me, but I did not answer anymore.
One female friend even wanted to make a couple of my that-time bf with her female friend. (behind my back, sure, I only know the energy around that was not good). When I wrote to her years later that I don´t like the way she treats me, she had tons of “excuses”, wanted to talk to me on the phone immediately,but then…she simply did not write anymore. She dropped.
Looking back, I was not validated, seen anyway, I was ignored (often, it took months to receive a replay by e-mail, I was not invited to any single event: never to marriage of the friends, to socialise with their friends etc). If they had invited me to a wedding, I´d be happy and go. But, I guess it would be as usual: I´d be ignored, these people would talk about themselves, their interests…not asking me: unless I had a super-power job, money, important friends etc.

I was the last one in terms of their interest.

It is so good for me being without such friends.


Hi Darlene and others. I hope I can get to the point of believing it is not about me (us); my siblings were more loving when I was young…it’s when I became an adult and was unhappy and angry because I was not validated about the sexual abuse (father: perpetrator, mother not believing me) that everything changed. They remained loyal to my parents and refused to support or understand me.

My anger was sometimes free-floating and random and directed toward the wrong people because at the time I was not skilled at identifying what the dynamics were and addressing them. It was wrong to take it out on the wrong people. Other times it was expressed as frequent irritation at my parents for seemingly minor things. My siblings and nieces and nephews saw this and it’s been downhill from there.

I didn’t fit into the family narrative, and my being angry about not being heard and validated comes across like I’ve thrown a monkey wrench into an otherwise happy family. My siblings and mother are quite charismatic and funny, and other people typically like them very much.

I actually didn’t fit into the family narrative from the beginning: I was an unplanned pregnancy. Does anyone else think it’s weird that I slept in the attic? My mother said “it was a small house” “you were older then” (2-3), and “your sister could hear you”. I recall pulling out my hair on one side of my head at age 4ish, and I slept in a crib until age 6 or so. About the crib my mother said “well, you fit in it”.



I am sorry that you had friends like that. I have had some friends like that too. When I was growing up we called those kind of people “fair weather” friends. As long as your life is going well and you can do stuff for them they will be your friend. But when storm clouds gather around you and the rain comes in they scatter like people avoiding a downpour.


I’m sorry about your abuse and how you were not believed by your mother or siblings. I have had “free-floating” anger as well. Sometimes something someone said triggered me. It is good to go back and assess what happened, and try not to do it again. By your statement I can see you are mindful of this dynamic. I know about a sibling not understanding about my feelings towards the parents. They think you are the one that is “off”. They confer amongst themselves and come to the conclusion that of course it is you that is goofy.

Yeah, I am the other in my family. Probably even more so since going NC. From what I have read, it is the scapegoat that usually is the most grounded and sane of the bunch. I know I have days when it doesn’t feel like I am mentally stable, but after years of having my head messed with by family I can recognize personalities that I need to stay away from or if I can’t stay any from them I need to have my protections in place.

An unplanned pregnancy should not automatically be a reason to be a non-fit in the family narrative. That is just wrong. Sleeping in an attic for a 2 or 3 year old is strange. Kind of young for that I think. And I think sleeping in a crib as a 6 year old is not good. You want to start feeling a little bit like a big girl. Not a baby in a crib.


There is nothing normal about putting a small child to sleep alone in an attic! It is also not normal for a young child to pull her own hair out. I am no psychologist but that behavior signals that you suffered abuse. I can relate so much to your need for validation too. That is the one thing that , if I got it from my NM, I believe that I could really move past everything and heal. It drives me crazy and I find myself looking for it even from others and many friends are reluctant to give it too. My heart goes out to you and everyone else here.


Thank you Lynne and Andria and Darlene for your support and kind words. It is very validating to know that others can see that some of my childhood experiences were damaging. Andria, I liked your “long labyrinth” description….

Kristina, I too am sorry you had friends like that. It’s been a growing process for me to not overgive. I manage a chronic illness and it can be hard on marriages and friendships. Yet it sounds like you were asking for little — the kind of help that a healthy friendship could accommodate.


Hi Everyone!
It has been a crazy summer but I have good news ~ I finally published a new post. 🙂
I hope you will all visit the new article and share your voices with me!
My new post is called “Are you Exhausted from Trying to be Stronger than you Feel?”.
Looking forward to the discussion!!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi All,
I have a similar story to you Kristina (and thank you for the Snow White reference), in the way your friends used you to take from you and never reciprocated back when you needed the help (and I am so sorry you have to go through this pain). As soon as my partner and I told people we were fixing our house they all stopped calling us as they knew they couldn’t just get a free pampered holiday anymore. I hate free-loaders. At least they all did me a favor and now I know who is in my life for real. All those people that initially hurt me by disappearing are banned from coming back in my life. Only I know how much time, effort and money I have spent on them. At least now I see the truth and I’m not going back to old habits of bowing down to the needs of users and abusers. When I needed a place to stay one time recently when I went back home, not one single friend offered to invite me to their place. It was a real eye opener.

I also had a friend since I was 8 years old and she forgot about me while she was married for 20 years and I made huge efforts to go see her every year until I got tired of it. She finally emailed me after 3 years of not talking, to tell me she got a divorce. She thought I would just let her back in to my life but this time I said “No Thanks!” and funny enough, it felt good. I have been over-accommodating to everyone but no more. From now on they will get what they give me…NOTHING!

Cheers, Hope xx


I have been quietly following along for some time now, but was also scared that FOO would discover me.

After I personally told all family members of my cancer, I shared my story with my friends on fb. I don’t have thousands of fb friends, I don’t even have hundreds! I personally know all of them and my point was about awareness. I shared because I did everything I was supposed to. I did everything I was supposed to… regular visits and screenings, and it STILL happened! The response was incredibly kind and supportive! I was blown away by the kind words my friends shared.

My family was a different story altogether. As my status update posted, my parents, sister and BIL were headed south for an oceanside vacation. When they swung through Virginia, they stopped to see my daughter. My mother proceeded to tell my daughter they “they” didn’t think it was appropriate to air my personal business to the world, and that I “jumped the gun” because it was “only” Stage 0, it hadn’t yet progressed to invasive cancer. (That happened a year later, after we thought it was all removed in the first surgery).

THIS was when I began to really question my fog. It took me over another year to finally decide that this was just too exhausting. The final straw came in January when my sister “accidentally” sent me a message meant for my mom. Referring to me, the two words that made me snap were “As always”

I have been NC since. This has been all my life, now that I can see beyond the fog, I now see it all so clear!


Thank you Darlene! I always look forward to your encouraging words!


I used to take care of a lot of things at home – which were barely noticed – and in the last ten years things have struck me – time after time –

for one when my sister called me to pick her up in the midst of the nite, when i said i would she started screeaming that she d never want a ride from me cause i was a menace on the road and she d rather have other solutions whilst scaulding and yelling – i started to thin of other options to which she started shouting even louder – how could i leave her there? what monster was I? at that point i did get fed up and wanted to leave it as such, but as usual at that poin in time i did pick her up, not to be thanked or applauded, but just to reciev more yelling on the phone by family members to whom my sister had complained to, to the point where we were in the car to pick the car up that had no longer worked and a friend of my mother s started as well – it took all my effort to set things straight, that i had NOT abandoned her at all, that she was actually yellin NOT to pick her up for quite some time – to which my mother replied – well you do know your sister can be stressed out, her response was natural –

it s when i for a first saw the family dynamics for what they were – even tho my mother had always told me that i was the best child of the both of us this was never true for real – and all of a sudden i could see through th emanipulation – but to really end these dynamics ten more years went by

ten more years in which i learned tha ti live with a system which is referred to as DID – to learn that the kids were terrified of my mom to which i said for a first that we d never have to see her again ever – regardles of wht therapists or psychiatrists or the hosptial ward we were in would say or want – as i d cut my mother ot of my life before at least three times – btu was always told to get back in touch with her by carers – they said she was sooooo kind – so I did

even so it was hard to get the right help so that ofor once this decision would be supported – which happened – and during that timme my aunt for a frist said in compelte amazement – do you really think of me as your favourite aunt, cause i ve been so hard on you all your life, what is the rest of the family like then? i had a shimmer ofhope this meant she would soften up – but her last cards told me otherwise – she will and continue to try to reconnect me with my mother even tho she won t listen to anything

and so bit by bit i realised it s been enoug – my sister asking for advice reagerding clothes and not seeing i need to move and am in need of help, my fahter who only shouts that i should not be ill and should not talk about abuse as after all i should just get back in church with him and pretend nothing ever happened etc etc – he ll never change that image of what he wants me to be for who i really am – the exorcisms he did give me three years ago cause i had seizures – enough is more then enough

to this point where i re evaluated friendships and family relationships and i realise i no longer want nor have to reply to their texts, calls or emails – which has been frightening given the anger they can express when i do something they do not want me to do –

but i do it anywas – i still hear my sister say that last xmas i should have invited her and my aunt to entertain them even tho i m mostly bedbound and spent xmas alone myself barely able to eat – but yet they think of me as a bad person for not inviting them –

too often i ve been told that what i said was too little to be angry about – that it was all normal –

i refuse to think of such behaviour as normal

i m fed u of being the last person that matters in so many ways, the person that eidid not deserve nice clothes and was told that it was just my way of dressing, the person that was trying to reach out and was told to shut up etc –

i ll be my number one – done with takinc are of others and the world, it s time someone does that for me – i longed to find someone to do this – i ll just start myself – time to rest – recharge – and heal for real –


My final straw was when my mother blamed me for not telling my oldest brother that his dad wasn’t who he thought he was. She had told me years ago when she was drunk and trying to keep him from getting in touch with who he thought was his father. So I didn’t believe her and said if it was true that she, as his mother, should be the one to tell him. Fast forward 5 years and she found his birth father and when he got upset she blamed me. “Your sister has known for 5 years and said she would tell you herself” Total lie. But rather than be a real stand up person and/or mother, she pushed in front of the bus to save herself. Again. Thank you for sharing your stories on here. They give me strength and validation!


Darlene, you speak to me and for me. Thank you.

I am a mid-40s male who recently “unthawed” and realized that I have been dealing with an extremely dysfunctional family for my entire life. It’s eerie really, looking back on every single conversation and event that I’ve had with my parents and dysfunctional siblings and finally seeing what was happening. How I was abused and neglected and placed in a rigid role. It’s disturbing and hurtful too, but I am thankful for the truth. I can’t believe how strong my lifeline denial has been.

In any case, my wake-up moment occurred when I went to visit my father on Father’s day with my wife and children 2 years ago. My father is a raging narcissistic with some sort of mental disorder that Mom always accepted and allowed. He verbally abused us and still does. So I’m there on Father’s day and he becomes unhinged in front of my children and I feel so ashamed and embarrassed by his behavior. I wanted my boys and me to enjoy Father’s Day with 3 generations together. I got a sudden realization of how dysfunctional he was and how hurt and broken I am because of this. I ended up storming out of there and when I got home I said to my wife “What about me?” I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was my inner child releasing a lifetime of pain. What about me? After a lifetime of verbal abuse (father) and emotional neglect (mother), what the hell about me?

The backstory is that I was going through a difficult time in my life at that moment and I needed the love and support of my family. I guess the juxtaposition of his behavior and my needs was just too much. Like, the Lie was exposed because it was just too divergent from the reality at that moment in time.

How did dysfunctional mom handle the situation? She was out of town, but when I told her that data really “hurt” us that day, she ignored me for 3 months. You see, it’s my fault if I ever feel anything. It’s my fault for ever arguing with my crazy father. The dysfunctional family lie is that I am the asshole of the family–even though I am a kind and caring father and husband and a compassionate and caring person in other areas of my life. You see, by defining me as the asshole, they can all live the family lie and ignore the truth that I bring to the table. So when something like this happens, they can always shift the blame to me.

After 2 years, I am just now starting recover from the emotional toll that this realization has taken on me. But the light came on that Father’s day. BTW, my family of origin has since cut me and my family out of their lives. My mom won’t speak to me because I’m so disrespectful. She’s right, after a lifetime of staying in bounds, I am now disrespectful to the family lies and I can’t go back now. It hurts so much, there are many days that I wish I could.


Hi Roger
Many of my breakthroughs have been around that statement “What about me?? What the HELL about ME!” ~ I learned so well not to think about me which really works for them. (but those days are gone)
I don’t think drawing boundaries is disrespectful at all. I think it is actually loving AND respectful. How else would they ever have the chance to realize that how they treat other people is wrong?
Hugs and thanks for sharing,


Hi Shannon
I am glad you like the stories!
It is crazy when kids get blamed for not doing things that they should NEVER have been expected to do, and then they also get blamed for things that they tell that the parent didn’t want told… can’t win.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Maja
Thanks for sharing these examples too! Glad you are resting and healing now!!!
Hugs, Darlene


@Kristina…thanks for your kind words. Yes, I had a lot of trouble with that too.
Shopping with my mother was often painful when I was growing up because she had her own idea of how I should look. She would also criticize all the clothes I tried on with a disgusted look on her face, saying that nothing looked good on me.

My mom has occasionally complimented me but it’s rare. I know that in her own way she loves me, but I’m not the type of daughter she really wants.
I was often embarrassed and ashamed growing up because she didn’t teach me how to take care of myself in terms of clothes, hygiene, etc. When I started menstruating at an early age, she only told me that I needed to be careful around boys. There was no other explanation about anything.

I also had a lot of body hair at that age and the other kids bullied me for that. She didn’t allow me to shave despite my embarrassment, so I took matters into my own hands.
It was just another way to control me. My developing body was viewed as something to be ashamed of.

And yes, my hair was another way that people attacked me. Being half black and half white, I have very thick hair.
There is a lot of trauma around my hair because of the racist bullying I experienced growing up and because of my own mother sometimes making me feel bad about my hair.
I started having my hair relaxed many years ago but I still had to deal with nasty comments from people.

When I started dating and being interested in boys, my family couldn’t handle it.
They shamed me for showing any hint of femininity. But prior to that, when I wore clothes that covered me up, they criticized me for not being girly enough.
I just couldn’t win either way.

My mother wanted me to be “perfect” as a young girl…pretty, popular, an honor student, etc.
But I was all too human. I was a sullen, lonely, depressed teenager with low self-esteem and a bad home life.
I was on the margins in school and otherwise. My cousin was the golden child of the family. She was popular, considered beautiful (despite being overweight), and had all of the privileges that I didn’t.

And yes, I was shamed for wearing lipstick and gloss. It was seen as wrong for me to look nice.
I was accused of trying to seek attention. Now I wear makeup without caring what anyone says, but I still remember the cruel words.


Also, the fact that my stepfather was in the picture made it even more difficult.
My mother is the type of woman who puts men above children. Even after my stepfather had his first violent outburst (before they were married) she stayed with him anyway.
It was then that I realized that I wasn’t a priority in her life. She put her selfish needs/desires above my need for safety, stability, and happiness as a girl growing into womanhood.

I was told to never ask for anything…even the most basic needs in some cases.
My stepfather ruled our home like a tyrant. If I dared to protest the way he treated me, I was called “disrespectful” and punished severely. One of his favorite punishments was to force me to sleep in a hot bedroom with no fan or AC.
The ceiling fan in my bedroom stopped working and he refused to fix it because I was “bad”. Mind you, we lived in Florida and it was HOT. I already suffered from asthma and the heat made it worse.

I opened the window once just to get some relief from the heat and he brought his wrath down on me.
There is just so much I could say, but I’ll stop now.


The “final straw” for me lasted a few months. It unfolded like a strange dream. My mom and I had a fight in Aug. Then she left her boyfriend and went to go live with my half sister in another state. For 2 months, while she was there, she didnt contact me in any way, shape, or form. Then I hear from my biological dad that my mom moved back to be with her boyfriend. Next it was her birthday. I didnt want to contact her. But I didnt want to be accused of ‘keeping her grandchild from her’ so I sent a card from my daughter to her. Then I got an email from my bio dad who said my mom contacted HIM to find out WHY I was being so mean to her and disrespectful for not contacting her on her birthday.
I had it at this point. Her using my bio dad (who I was just starting to have a relationship with) to get him on her side and to come between us just so she can have her way…NOPE. I sent her an angry email and havnt heard from her since. (1 month) But I’m kind of scared as to what will happen over christmas. All of my family lives far away, so I am not going to travel and I’m not sending any cards or anything. I can only imagine the conversations they are all going to have about me. 🙁


Hi Darlene,
I stumbled across your website by accident, a few months ago and all your words could be me!!!
I don’t know if I’m recovering but I do know I’m realising just how disfunctional my family are.
I have not had contact with my younger sister for a number of years, maybe 6. And recently I’ve not had contact with my parents, for 2 months. This was because my son had sworn at my mother and according to them (my parents) I should make him apologise (he’s 30). He hasn’t done so according to them I haven’t done enough to make him. Anyway yesterday I rang my father to inform him his mother was in hospital (he hasn’t spoken to her for years) after I’d informed him of the situation the conversation was turned, by him, back to my son. We did argue but I feel I gave in and so we parted on reasonable terms. Today father rang to thank me because the parcel with their Christmas presents in it arrived. During that conversation he told me that they (my parents) and my uncles were travelling to my sisters to spend Christmas with her and her family. No one had told ME!!! In my shock I asked if they could spend time with me while they’re here. They will but don’t know when or how long. By the way, my sister lives around the corner from me!!!
Now after some thought, I’m furious. How come they think this is ok? Father did say no one told me cause we weren’t talking……..WHAT? So that makes it right? My feelings obviously don’t count!! Obviously not.
I now don’t want to see them while they’re here. I don’t want to be the after thought AGAIN. But now I’m scared to tell them this as it will be twisted round to me doing wrong. But I think I’m going to do it anyway as I’ve reached my last straw. My stomach is churning at the thought but your words and those of others here, have given me the courage to do it!! Wish me luck!!!!’


Hi Gail,
Welcome to EFB ~ thanks for sharing! Recovery began in my life when I started to realize the dysfunction and the damage it caused to me. The way that I was regarded and disregarded (the ways you describe in your own post here) caused me to see myself through the ways that they treated me and conclude that I was not worthy but I finally realized that their actions (and inactions) are about them. I wish you all the best going forward!!! I am glad you are here.
hugs, Darlene


For me, my mother pretending to care about me….and realizing that it isn´t the truth….keeps waking me up to the truth. It is so weird to feel my mothers need for “harmony” between us and my own lack of identity at the same time.
So in the past that meant, I must be somehow guilty for not being able to honour her active interest in a harmonious relationship with me.
I only saw her “interest” and my “rejection of her” , so obviously I must be the wrong one, the bad one.
But now, I rather take my feelings of resisting her seductions serious which means, that I do know deep down that it cannot be true love. I also see that I must have judged myself guilty my entire life in order to protect her and me from the devastating truth that she doesn´t love me. To confront her with who she really is must have been too dangerous for a dependent child as I was. I guess we need that hope of being loved in order to survive.

So my mothers christmas cookies she sent to me after 2 years of no contact….woke me up again to my unconscious hope that she might really care and the truth that she never did and never will. It made me aware that I rather feel guilty than right, for having ruined our relationship. In fact, I ruined nothing, it was rotten from the start. If there would have been one glimpse of true love, it wouldn´t have turned out that way. It´s so hard to proove if everybody calls my mother a “warm” person. So I must be the “cold” one, questioning her.
I am at the point where I have no energy for all this daily suffering and living like under a bad spell.
I am glad there are more people on this journey, like me.
Thank you for this side and the ongoing flow of healing input.


Hi Kris
Welcome to EFB and thank you for sharing. You are not alone!
Hugs, Darlene


What became my final straw was what led me to your site. After years and years of being the “black sheep”, being unincluded in family events and told/made to feel as though it was my fault, after an aunt said that my son attempted suicide because of my poor parenting, after giving, and giving, and giving of myself/my time/my gifts and never reciprocated, after finding (actually laid out in front of me by a sister) family group texts where I am the subject and talked about like a dog, and, yesterday, told that I was not included in the latest outing because I am “tolerated, not liked” at family functions. What a horrible thing to say to anyone. Once I stopped blaming myself, calling myself a weirdo who no one likes, and feeling gut-wrenching loneliness, I found this site and I’m so grateful. I’ve had a notion that it wasn’t me so much as them, but when you’re always told that it is indeed you, it’s hard to believe. Thank you for this blog and your book. I sure hope to be feeling better soon.


Hi Amanda
Welcome to EFB! I am really glad you found us too!
Sounds like you are in the right place and I hope you are feeling better soon as well.
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Darlene,

I have just found your website, and it is a revelation to me. Many of the behaviours you write about I can relate to myself.
My own mother has dismissed and manipulated me for most of my life. My sister in law says “she plays me like a fiddle” and I sometimes know this. But my mother is now nearly 91yrs and has dementia. I am her sole carer as my brother and sister in law do as little as possible,due to their own issues as they say. I started seeing a psychologist recently and will have some CBT. My mother can still manipulate me with her theatrics, but I am not having so many meltdowns and have cut down my time with her.( she is in a sheltered flat) I do her shopping, cleaning,take her out etc., She does not go out at all herself and has never mixed with many folk, she always falls out with people who have opinions and prefers to stay in her ivory tower alone except for me. She tolerates the carers who visit 4 times a day, but my mum needs you to be sweet, delightful, good, deferring and perfect or she dislikes you. It is as if she is ok being alone with her own opinions. Any suggestions to keep my sanity.
Your site is wonderful. Thank you for all your inspiration and hope.


Thanks for this post. I can identify with your feelings when you found out they were slicing and dicing, analyzing and TAKING NOTES, on what I’m sure was a very painful event and time in your young life. You were victimized! And, yes, once again, the mother is the victim. And brother does some sort of odd “damage control”, to protect mother’s inadequacy/selfishness/lack of empathy for the pain and abuse she put in your path. Everybody marching along like soldiers, in their assigned roles, except for you, that day, thank God! That was an awesome epiphany!

I will say, I do identify with that “so what”? question, as I have been throwing it out lately myself. Because so little of what these people perseverate on really matters. It helps them from stopping and seeing what they really are/are not. Smoke and mirrors.

I think I experienced the last straw for me with my younger sister, whom I was trying to rebuild relationship with. She seems to be led around like a sheep by my older sister. My older sister is , it seems narcissistic and has always been in some sort of competition with me. Actually, quite cut throat. Bad mouthing me to the family and extended family. Always painting me in a bad light, especially to my father. The queen of twisting information. Man, I was so thoughtless, selfish, irresponsible, you name it. I would go to extended family events, and people I had not seen all year, and they would not speak to me, or be very dismissive, and cut me off. It took awhile to piece together that these relatives were the ones she had just forged these deeper relationships with. She pursues family members like a besotted lover, and with ferocity. So odd. Never could figure that out. Obsessive may be a better description.
Her favorite song to sing, had always been, Jane has so much ability. Too bad she never finishes anything. You can’t count on her for anything. Now, after finding the love of my life and having a happy relationship for ten years, working so hard and completing my graduate degree, sticking out a tough work environment, till I could move on after school, I look, and realize, I do finish and stick with things, things that matter to me. I told her, Gee. Gonna have to find another song to sing. She didn’t like that! and there was retribution.
So, anyways, I had been working on relationship w younger sister, and big sis wasn’t having that. She had blocked me on FB, did not invite me to family events, etc. But always had sickening sweet smile for me in front of others, and a big hug, which I usually side stepped. (which she probably wanted to happen, making me look like the one w a problem) Yet, she told my little sister, that she felt “hurt” that i would just sit and talk with her, at family functions, and she wanted to be “included” in every conversation!!! So, we can all recognize that this is her taking control of the situation, nipping any relationship that could occur, right in the bud, and exerting her imagined authority.
Indeed, she did sidle up to a conversation at the latest cook out, and jump right in. My little sister reminded me of a dog, rolling over and showing her belly, letting her take complete control. On and on, about something I could not comment on. I excused myself and went to speak to someone else.I still don’t know whether to feel sorry for her, or just be sickened by it. I guess it is both. As she seems to be unaware.
So, that was the last straw. Realizing that my sister is too much under the control of the dysfunctional system.
If anybody’s mother is getting into their upper years, I don’t know if you notice, that they can’t keep track of their lies anymore. My mother has been going on, telling me how my brother is moving in, “for a month, until his apartment is ready”. I happen to know, that he is moving in permanently, to keep an eye on them (mom doesn’t know that part; she’s being watched!!). I just smile, agree, nod, and wonder, why the lie? Is it just because lying is your normal mode of communication, or that you want to keep me out of the loop, and hold on to you “power”?
Anyways, one more last straw, was with my mother. I was in school still, and it was a big day. We were getting fitted for our white coats, for the white coat ceremony as NP’s. This was a big day, and big celebration, it was a milestone. Years of hard work and tears, struggles. I went, from my clinical assignment, up at 6 a.m., then brought my lunch to my parents to check on them,between bites tried to get to the truth that my mother was not taking her blood pressure medication, and lying about it. So i happened to mention, what was happening that afternoon, and how excited I was. (my specialty is psych, btw). So, my mother asked me, when you were treated for depression, in your 20’s, what the hell was wrong with you, anyway? what was so wrong in your life? (paraphrasing, this was 2 yrs ago). And I realized. She didn’t care anything for my successes. She could not be happy for me. She knew the perfect way to bring me down. Because what I heard was, “You’re a nut. how did somebody who was a psych patient themselves, be allowed to take care of the patients?” You know, like an inmate was running the asylum!!
And then I really realized, she wanted me to feel down, and feel bad, unworthy, probably even worse than she really does about herself.Empty, empty, empty.
However, I still stay LC, bc I do care what happens to my father. And, i need to see her at functions in which I can see my bothers and their families. I have no problem faking it, when around her, to see the people i really like. Just don’t get too close to the shark. And my sisters, THEY can worry about her medical. I’m done with that!!
Thanks for letting me vent here. My story I think may be disjointed here. But I needed to vent. I have been noticing this week, that thoughts of these folks, keep coming up, while I am driving to and from work. I have been just noticing when they come up, and commenting to myself, Hmmm, those thoughts seem to be surfacing. What is going on there? And just doing some mindfulness and try to deal with it.


My final straw was when my father hovered me on Friday before Mother’s Day that’s on Sunday. My mother is a narcissist who I refuse to speak to for decades of abuse. My father got divorced and he still chooses to enable her. He started abusing me when I limited contact to an occasional dinner. His willingness to get me around my mother was the final straw.

Leave a Comment