The Charming NPD Mom

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FindingMyLight

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The Charming NPD Mom
« on: June 11, 2020, 01:14:44 PM »
So I live in the same town as my mother.  She followed me here from a different state 15 years ago.  She is active in her church and has many superficial friends.  People are drawn to her because of her charm and outgoing personality.  Honestly, if I didn't know the true her, I would be charmed as well.  I don't ever expect anyone that she's "friends" with to believe any different.  I don't even expect my brother "The Golden Child" to see things for what they truly are.  My issue is that I have a problem with the narrative that she's set up in relation to me.  I hold a prominent position within our town.  (My husband is a doctor.)  I know, but can't prove, that she is talking negatively about me around town.  I know that it has to do with me calling her out for something that she did and proving that she was using gaslighting techniques on me.  She has done it my entire life, but thanks to old pictures on my brother's facebook page, I PROVED that I was telling the truth and was remembering things correctly.  Of course, she totally ignored it and refused to acknowledge anything that I presented her with.  At this point we haven't spoken since the incident.  In this case, how do you combat awful things being said about you in the community?  She's playing herself off as the hurt victim of an uncaring daughter. (She's a 71 year old widow.)  I'm purposely not engaging with her because I know that she will twist anything that I say around and blame things on what I've said or done.  It's pointless to confront her because she never admits to anything.  I'm really at a loss on how to handle things.  I had the epiphany that she had NPD last weekend, and it put so many things in perspective.  I just don't know how to begin to extract her tentacles from my life.  After doing further investigation, I see that she's befriended most of my friends on facebook, including some of my childhood friends from elementary school!  (I'm 52!)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 01:26:23 PM by FindingMyLight »

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 02:06:34 PM »
Hi FindingMyLight!

Oh, she didn't like that you proved her wrong, she can't be wrong! You must be wrong. At least that's how it goes with my uPD mother. I'd safe it's a safe assumption that she's talking negatively about you and playing the hurt victim.

I'm not sure that you can truly combat the awful things they say to others. If it was me and I was told things that someone heard from my mother, I'd be sure to make a comment that she does this type of thing to everybody. Something like, "she said that about me?"; "she does this very thing to most everybody in her life, it's a real problem." Or "this is a pattern with her, but I'm surprised she's doing it to her daughter now."  As for how you deal with talking about you? I think you'll have to do a bunch of ignoring and good, healing self care and self talk. It's not easy, but there's not much you can do to combat it.

Typical that she's befriended your friends on facebook. My uPDmother is the reason I'm off facebook. I couldn't stand to see her games and drama-stirring.

You can get ideas for dealing with a NPD mother on YouTube. Melanie Tonia Evans, Ross Rosenburg, The Little Shaman, Dr Les Carter - all are worth watching.

Take care  :heythere:


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FindingMyLight

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 04:00:53 PM »
Thanks!  I will absolutely check out those videos.  I have school aged children and belong to a lot of groups that do communication via Facebook.  (Their schools, some non profit groups, as well as my alumnae groups.)  Unfortunately, this is how most of them communicate with their members, so getting rid of my Facebook account isn't very practical.  Until reading up on NPD, I had never even thought to look at how many mutual friends that my mother and I had in common on Facebook.  I assumed it was just family members or old neighbors.  I was literally shocked by the number of my friends that she was friends with.  As far as her playing the victim to her uncaring daughter, I'm going to do my best to try and ignore it.  I'm thinking that if I am approached by anyone about how "hurt" she is, I'll just remind them that there are always two sides to every story, and not get into any details. 

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Bella

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 03:59:13 PM »
I am not the best to give advice but I would say publicly apologise, make some kind of grand gesture in public that she is forced to love, something to make her friends jealous with she will likely have to gush about how you realised the errors of your ways. You will likely have to manage your image and reputation so she does not mess up your status in town too much, make it so perfect that no one could believe you to be a bad daughter. The other thing is moving without telling her and cutting bridges with anyone who could tell her where you are which is not really feasible.
You could also stoop to her level and  make sure no ones believe what she says But that a lot of effort and time thinking about her.
I donít see a low effort solution that does not involve turning into a politician. Sorry.

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TwentyTwenty

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2020, 03:46:56 AM »
Sorry you are going through this.

At some point, I believe you are going to have to come to terms with how much abuse and manipulation you are willing to have in your life from your mom. She is abusing and controlling you, and likely having a very bad influence on your health, well being and day to day capabilities to do your work, take care of the family, etc.

My advice here is my own personal opinion, and should only be seen as such; but if it were me, I would have a lawyer send her a ‘cease and desist’ order to stop harassing and contacting me. I would at least temporarily stop contact, which would likely get her attention where mere conversation has failed before.

Once I had established a no contact boundary, after a period of time I could then have my lawyer reach out for terms of reconciliation, and include her admitting to and owning, being accountable for her abuse and deception in order to move forward.

The problem I think you have now, is you have no boundaries set and just willing to be abused lest some of your friends or neighbors think badly of you.

If, in fact you are being abused and harmed by your mom, then I’d stop giving a sh!t what anyone thought of me to escape the abuser and shut her lying mouth, publicly.

Getting a liar to stop is usually not a polite, pretty, event; and has some downsides.




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Happypants

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 05:57:59 AM »
Findingmylight - Iím so sorry.  A smear campaign generated by your mother really pulls the rug out from underneath you.  I know because Iíve been going through something similar for years, albeit on a family level and not a community level.

My advice may only apply in part seeing as there are different dynamics to my situation.  Ultimately, my focus has ended up being on a twisted version of accepting to an extreme level that what other people think doesnít matter (i know, itís a cliche).  There are some possibilities you may need to consider:
Your mother is unlikely to change her MO.
Your successes (relationships, career, skills, reputation, etc) are potentially a catalyst for her manipulative behaviour.
Some people, even nice and/or smart people, will fall for her act and may believe her, but itís not necessarily permanent.
Many people will see through it and question why a mother would badmouth her daughter, even if itís subtle they will pick up on it.  But you wonít see that as in your mistrust of her youíll be primed to pick up on any slight look or comment as negative.  But people who know you or know of you may be on your side without you knowing it.
You have an opportunity to become your best YOU out of all this.  That depends on how your feel about yourself though - do you recognise and regularly acknowledge the good in you?  Can you remind yourself that itís because of your good qualities that her scared ego is acting this way? 

You canít control what others think of you, but by god, you can control how you feel about yourself, what you do, how you behave, and when youíre able to be the best you, others will be far less inclined to be swayed by gossip and covert manipulation.  Itís taken me a long time to recognise and question my internal reactions to their behaviour and question whether their version of me is true.  Itís taken me even longer to take a deep breath and remove my reactivity from the table.  And now Iím recognising the physical and mental health implications of our history. 

Itís your decision ultimately whether you want to expend the energy to gain some control over the situation, and only you know whether you can do that successfully without compromising your principles and health.  But you absolutely can work on maintaining your sense of self.

Sending hugs 🤗
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 06:12:38 AM by Happypants »

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Maxtrem

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 02:13:29 PM »
If it gives you hope, my uBPDm has often conducted smear campaigns against me. But the last one she made cost her most of her friends. One of her friends even called to tell me that she was sorry about what was happening to me and wanted to know how I was doing. This friend never spoke to my mother again and the last thing she would have said to her was: I would never do that to my son.

At first I was glad that this happened to my uBPDm, I thought it might have helped her to change or to have an awareness, but no, she just perceived that her friends let her down because she wasn't doing well  :stars:

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FindingMyLight

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 11:59:41 AM »
Thanks for the advice. As far as getting a lawyer involved, it isnít that type of slander. Itís much more covert. Itís saying things like, ďshe just doesnít have time for meĒ, etc. Usually itís whatever makes her look like the victim of a selfish, uncaring daughter. Iíve basically had no contact with her for the past three weeks, which has made things relatively peaceful. Of course there is a void of not talking with her. (She would get her feelings hurt if I didnít call her every morning.) But, the lack of drama, gossip, and superficial talk about her plans has been refreshing. I know that itís really bothering her that thereís been no contact. Sheís text me saying that she misses our morning talks and has even had my brother (The Golden Child) ask my husband if I was still mad at her. (Still no acknowledgement of my feelings, which I know that I will never get.)  Her latest ploy was to call my husband to wish him a Happy Fatherís Day and to tell him that she would be stopping by to give him his gift today. Iím debating whether or not to even be home at this point. Either way, I feel like she wins. She either gets to see me, knowing that I will not engage her negatively in front of my children, or I will leave to run an errand while sheís here. (Not something I really feel like doing today.)

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FindingMyLight

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2020, 03:59:42 PM »
An update- She called this morning before coming over. I decided that I would go pick my husband up some breakfast and fill his car up with fuel so he wouldnít have to do it on his way to work tomorrow. All of the kids were still asleep, so she didnít see them. He said that she called when she got to the house to let him know that she was in front, expecting him to go outside instead of her coming in. She introduced him to her new boyfriend. ( My stepdad of 30 years died two years ago.) He said that her boyfriend was very aloof and not friendly at all. -Lord only knows what sheís been telling him. At that point, she gave him his gift and told him to tell her daughter hello. They then left. He said the whole thing was uncomfortably weird and that she was only here for a few minutes.

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Liketheducks

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 05:15:44 PM »
I feel you.  My Mom has been spreading lies about me for the last four years.   All of my FOO and her extended family have been enlisted as flying monkeys at one point or another.   She twisted me offering her one of our  rental homes (she had been living with us stirring chaos until I had had enough) into me making her homeless.     At one point, a cousin (who is a PTSD behavioral counselor, no less) lambasted me on facebook that she couldn't stand seeing me live a happy life on social media while I was such a terrible daughter.  I blocked her.   She doesn't have to see me live my happy life.    :wave:
I have been estranged from my dad for years.   With the virus, he reached back out.   This was new for him.   We're talking tentatively - but I know that I can shut that down quickly should the need arise.   My brothers got wind that Dad was talking to me and now they're not speaking to our dad.   Mom has to have the team all on her "side".   
Best thing I did was realize that I can't change what she says or believes about what I did.   All of my life, she's had a villain.  If it wasn't my Dad or an employer, it was alternating my two brothers.   It's her story in her head.   I'm not here to correct her story.   If she has a change of heart, I'm open to reconciliation on my terms.   If not, I have no regrets for my choices and behavior with regard to her.   I just kind of sit back and what their heads spin.   I just have to do me.    :stars:
That being said, I know that I've had LOTS of great therapy.  I've sussed out as many resources as I can about caring for myself and this situation.   Mom just blames me for her unhappiness.   That's pretty sad.  But, I can't fix her. 

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catta

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2020, 05:57:12 PM »
I wanted to echo what Happypants said and tell you that some people will see through it. In my experience, a LOT of older people hold the opinion that their children are neglecting them in some way, and they'll tell anyone who will listen. Although in your case it sounds like it's been a lifelong pattern for your mom to lie about things, many people might assume she's got mild dementia and give you the benefit of the doubt.

Sorry you're dealing with this, but welcome!

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FindingMyLight

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2020, 01:17:50 PM »

  All of my life, she's had a villain.  If it wasn't my Dad or an employer, it was alternating my two brothers.   It's her story in her head. 


Wow!  I have never reflected on this, but it's absolutely true for my mom.  Looking back, there's always been a villain.  I've always had to hear about people that have treated her unfairly and how she's always tried to be the bigger person despite people being nasty to her because they were jealous of her, etc.  There is always someone that she's at odds with, be it a family member, someone in our community, someone at church, etc.  I guess right now I'm the current villain.  It's amazing the things you begin to see when you distance yourself.

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TwentyTwenty

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2020, 04:25:58 PM »
Hi, a lawyer is not for slander or anything like that.

A lawyer is to tell her in a cease and desist order to stop contacting you with harmful behavior. Then if she contacts you again, sheís breaking the law and legally harassing you.

Unless your OK with being harassed and  abused, then never mind.

Is your mom abusive or harming you? Sorry if I misunderstood, I thought that she was.

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FindingMyLight

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 11:41:09 AM »
There are no physical threats or abuses going on, there have never been any physical altercations with my mother.  Everything that she has done has been on a non physical level.  Her manipulation is done in a covert manner under the guise that she's the victim and only wants what's best for everyone.  If anyone goes against her narrative they are vilified in her mind usually because she thinks they are jealous of her.  After reading Liketheducks comment, it really hit me about the whole villain thing.  Whenever she can't control someone or their actions, she makes them the villain in her life.  There has ALWAYS been a villain in her life at one point or another.  I just had never seen it.  I can remember being a very young child and her having a falling out with one of our neighbors to the point that we ended up moving.  Like I said, nothing physical, but a lot of emotional upheaval.  Going to court and getting a no contact order would just fuel her fire and validate the narrative in her mind.  I am finding that as the weeks go on, no contact is becoming easier and my life is a lot more peaceful.  I'm not saying that there isn't a feeling of loss, because there is.  I feel sadness for not having a healthy relationship with her as she continues into her older years.  But this site as well as other sites has helped me realize that it isn't me.   

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Bloomie

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Re: The Charming NPD Mom
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 12:33:44 PM »
Hi there FindingMyLight - welcome. I am really glad you have joined the conversations here for support.

That lightbulb moment when we realize that our mothers have many traits that are harmful to us and that they may indicate a PD is important, sobering, grieves us and is also a strange kind of relief I have found.

Having experienced many a smear campaign at the hands of a loved one with covert N traits I can relate to the sting and frustration when we are boxed in by the clever 'storytelling' and public posturing of our mothers.  With my own covert family member, it was important to see that there is an active type of opposition and jockeying for control and dominance going on in almost every interaction. All behind the mask of sweetness and light. :no:

Some things that have helped me in a similar situation that I offer in hopes they may help you.

At some point in my life knowing who I am and standing firm on how I have lived my life has to count to me more than the regard or opinion of others. This has helped me to emotionally disengage from the drama and step out of the victim, persecutor, rescuer roles. More info found here: https://www.lynneforrest.com/relationships-loved-ones/2009/02/the-victim-triangle/

I have also come to understand that gossip, smearing, lying about a family member is directly aggressive behavior. There is nothing covert about it, it is just as a culture we have normalized it and labeled it as not so bad. You and I both know first hand the incredible damage this does to our lives, our peace of mind, and ultimately it destroys relationships.

Learning to recognize covert tactics and focus on behaviors has also been of great help to me. Here is a really great past thread that I return to often to keep these tactics fresh in my mind:

https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=67273.0

Another suggestion is to write things down that are happening. It is really easy to get FOGGY when some time has passed about the details and extent of harm done. A therapist is another great support for in real life processing because many around you who have no experience with PD parents may not understand how deep this all goes and how much there is to unpack. A lifetime of a suitcase packed full of your mother's 'stuff' to go through I imagine.

There is a technique called medium chill in the glossary that would be good to think through. In my own case, I had stepped back and disengaged - still maintained polite, civil, cool and neutral interactions, just on a far less frequent basis.

I had also shut down as many avenues as I could to my personal and private life and comings and goings because my mother was not trustworthy. I had moved her out to a more distant level of intimacy in my life. It was not safe for me to have her too close to the parts of my life that mattered dearly to me. All conversations became about superficial things like the weather and gardening and I excused myself from conversations when gossip or smearing of anyone else began.

And the foundational work of boundaries and setting limits is where I began to truly break free and clarify where I really stood in relationship with my mother.

This healing work is a marathon. Be gentle with yourself and take your time understanding what you want in all of this. Keep coming back and sharing here on the boards for support and encouragement. I am so sorry that your mother has failed you to this degree and you are experiencing this disappointment as you see her serious character issues.
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸