I've always had a troubled relationship with my mother. I'm 22, finishing university. I'm working, I'm successful at the university, what with extracurriculars, good grades, scholarships and awards. But none of it is ever enough for her. When I speak to her, and I tell her about the good things I have done...she just ignores them and goes onto talking about herself. I recently opted not to tell her about an award I won. When I'm sick, she doesn't really care, she starts harshly blaming me for not looking after myself or goes on talking about herself. When I was younger, she would humiliate me for being overweight (she is obsessed with her looks to some extent, and I am a tomboy nerd). That's probably why I worked hard to lose the weight...but then it still wasn't enough for her.
I was lucky enough to have a very caring father who made up for the lack of support I received from my mother. But my father and
I had to keep our closeness a secret, because if we made a joke or spoke to each other in front of her, she would fight with him. When my father bought me
things I needed for school or a new winter jacket when my coat was ripped and 4 years old, it caused huge fights in the house. Before I wrote an exam once, she
cried and told me that she used to be just like me, and could have been just as successful as me (imagine writing an exam after dealing with that).
My mother raised me on the "don't trust anyone" doctrine and made sure that I knew my friends would always leave me. Whenever I had a falling out with a friend, and she found out, years later she would bring up that friend to prove her theory right. Now that I am in love and planning to get married, she tells me not to, praises my single cousins (smart girls), and sees me as a shame for not being single. She tells me that she hopes I won't have to go through what she went through in her marriage, but at the same time, she seems to hope that I will go through it…because I left her too (see below).
My father recently left my mother after many years of marriage. I moved out a few months later, because it was becoming too much for me. She would blame me for the divorce (saying I took sides with my father), and would storm into my room and yell at me. Living in fear, I would always stay on the phone with my boyfriend and pretend I am sleeping, and lock my room door. If I left my room, I would either be on the phone or pretend to be on the phone because I knew she wouldn't verbally attack me. Once she didn't realize I was on the phone, attacked me verbally, and my boyfriend finally understood how bad things were. I had to leave, I was tired of living in fear. She would attack me because, this is what she used to do to my dad...and now that he was gone, I was next in line. She would make me feel guilty for having a good relationship with my father.
When I left, a few months later she called me and cried to me about how she loved me, and she was wrong. Now she says that her family has left her, when all she tried to do was save money and provide for us. There were major mistakes she made which she doesn't acknowledge. She confides in God now, and doesn't really acknowledge me as a human being, but at the same time wants me to come over and spend time with her, as I am her daughter.
My brother also left the country, and now it is up to me to look after my mother. I am pressured to go over and look after her and make sure she is ok by everyone. But at the same time, I am exposed to the feeling of never being enough to her, of her sadness which the world has instilled on her, and which I have instilled in her by leaving her, not being single, not listening to her, not being pretty enough. I feel bad and I try to make things up to her. But at the same time, I know these things are who I am.
Every time I associate with my mother, it's like…pulling teeth. I feel like I become closed off from my boyfriend and then start fighting with him every time I go over to see her. I didn't go over to see her for three weeks and my boyfriend and I haven't fought. Whenever I go over to that guilt ridden house of my mother, I come home feeling that I am a bad person and I try to avoid him, distance myself from him, or break up with him to protect him and our future family from being exposed to me.
Then I try and do more to help her and be more in her eyes. But it never is enough...that's when I started researching and found out about NPD.
THE POINT/QUESTION: I really want to know what this forum would have to say about this rather vague yet long description. Does my mother have NPD? What do I do to survive this, when everyone is pressuring me to go over and see my mother, because she is all alone? How do I maintain a stable relationship with my boyfriend when being exposed to this? What do I do??