Yup. Imagine having a mother who does all of this. My mother is a narcissist. It was extremely difficult to come to terms with and accept what she did to me was not my fault. She lacked empathy/motherly love, refused to take responsibility, she liked to stonewall, blame others for everything, ran smear campaigns, pitted her kids against one another; fueling the sibling rivalries with blatant favoritism, comparisons, and misinformation. She had her golden child boys.

She told me once, after decades of abuse when I asked why she treated me so poorly (no matter how much money, time, effort, good-will I sacrificed) she said, “They are just easier to love.” Those are not the words of a morally or emotionally healthy mother. No mother should ever say something like that to her kid. I might have been an adult, but at the time, it stung. Especially since I had wasted so many years trying to understand, to make her happy, to love me (as mothers are supposed to). But I came to realize it was a matter of perspective. She likes to control the narrative at all times. And her boys (grown men) are (brainwashed, abused) devoted sheep. They have been groomed/manipulated to do whatever she says with little to no argument. They parrot whatever she decrees (without question), and she puppets them along in their daily lives (using them for money/resources and as flying monkeys, as she does to everyone in her orbit).

You’re a tool in her world; something to be used, nothing more. Everyone else outside of her precious, seemingly loving circle, has “disappointed” or “wronged” her. What did we do? We increasingly questioned her tactics and attitude over the years. We expected her to treat us as well as we did her, to be fair, to not lie all the time. She’d lie the way a child does, to avoid any sort of conflict or accountability. When cornered with the truth/proof, she’d burst out into crocodile tears, deflect and blame, or stonewall. It was frustrating. To her, we caused the conflict (not her, because she would never take responsibility for her role in the mess) because we would call her out on her games and inconsistencies. She didn’t like it, obviously. So she went out of her way to discredit those who exposed any part of her narcissism. She did this with friends, family, etc. Unfortunately, people often immediately believed her (because why would a sweet looking old lady lie) and held things against us for years without question. Not knowing our side, just being nasty to us based on her version of anything. It wasn’t worth going into the mire and trying to turn her flying monkeys to see the light. They didn’t want to hear or consider our side of anything. Their loss.

Typically, narcissists use up their monkeys and have to enlist more. For our mother, it is becoming harder for her to do. She is getting older, sicker, slower, less sharp. And her circle is getting ever smaller.

While I recognized something in our family dynamic was very wrong for years, it was really hard to pinpoint exactly what the issue was because of the chaos she caused. There was always some fire needing to be put out, some mess she would create, drama and bullshit. Also, no one wants to think their own mother is a loveless husk who is intentionally emotionally/psychologically (and in our case, financially) abusing their own children. Socially, people have a hard time believing the victims of narcissistic abuse because they project the healthy experience they had growing up with morally healthy parents. But we were not raised by the same mother.

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