The Legacy of Distorted Love

Recognizing, understanding and overcoming the debilitating impact of maternal narcissism

When Your Narcissistic Parent Is Sick or Elderly

Many adult children of narcissistic parents are finding themselves in the sandwich generation. Statistics reveal that one in eight adults are simultaneously supporting their own children and grandchildren while also providing assistance to aging parents. Read More

Ah, aging parental narcism

I'm in this situation up to my neck but it's even worse than you can imagine. My father has cancer and is dying. My mother is a master narcissist. For whatever reason, reasons I will never understand, my father has been indulging my mother in her needs, wants and desires for 60 years. She has been a vortex for all his time, money and energy throughout their marriage. Now he is in need. My mother appears to be getting worse not better. My sisters want nothing to do with the situation.

My father has reached out to me, asking me to get control of my very angry mother. She is furious because he is sick and cannot pay enough attention to her. I do what I can but I can only be in their house for so long before her tirades and insults erode my patience. I've reached a compromise between my own needs and those of my father. Yes, I would like to help my father but he sort of made his bed and I can only sacrifice so much of my own peace and sanity to deal with this. I have one friend who really thinks I'm being evil about this, but he doesn't live in my shoes.

Only do what you can

Only do what you can emotionally handle for yourself. You have to remain mentally healthy for your own life. Spending too much time in a narcissist's home will depress you and alter your own lifestyle and relationships with others. Your friend who thinks you are evil may not be the kind of friend you need to continue to spend time with. A good friend would understand your limitations. Suround yourself with supportive friends and family and spend less time with those who aren't supportive.

Sound advice. We have to keep

Sound advice. We have to keep in mind that narcissism isn't coming from a place that can ever make logical sense. It is not normal or admirable in any way. If the narcissist in our lives didn't think enough of their family and friends in their younger years to correct their destructive behavior, then they've set their own legacy by the time they have reached their senior years. Usually by then, the elder narcissist has exhausted the stores of patience and care within them.

Nice to know it's not just me

Our family just went through this with my Dad. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and my mother's narcissistic behavior went into overdrive. How could he do this to her? The worst part of his passing (14 weeks after diagnosis) is her inability to drive (he drove everywhere). We(the kids) never really understood her problems as she is extremely intelligent and hid them well. We just thought she was a little mean and demanding. Only after she went through 6 aids in as many weeks and saw and heard how badly she treated my Dad during this period did it all become clear. Anyone who thinks you are evil needs to care for this person, in the house for a few days. The onset of abuse inside the 4 walls of our house is almost immediate.

Both Biological & Both Stepparents NPD

The abuse I endured as a child was like living in a horror movie every day. I have an identical twin sister who has grown up to have NPD as well. They both smoked weed every day. We were military kids so by the time neighbors began to notice the abuse we moved away. Mom married my step dad when we were 6 years old. I was still wetting the bed. We moved to Guam & mom decided the bedwetting was laziness. She instructed dad to check my bed every morning before he went to work. If I had wet, I had all day to look forward to thebelt wwhen he got home from work. I soon lost my best friend who was banned from my house when she told her parents what was going on. I secretly wished to be rescued but nobody ever wanted to get involved. This continued for 6 months before they decided to take me to the doctor. He diagnosed me with a weak bladder & prescribed medicine. Within a month I stopped wetting the bed. I began suffering from PTSD as a very young child. I was extremely hypervigilant & started having painful neck stiffness which has become contractures that squeeze my cervical discs to the point of degeneration. We never knew what would set off her terrifying rage. She would beat us for anything from waking her while getting ready for school to leaving the cap off the toothpaste. I started to cringe&fflinch every time she walked by because she would slap me for no reason. When they fought she would lash out on me or throw things then force me to clean up the mess. At age 12 we moved to Torrejon Air Force Base in Spain. They didn't have a drug connection there so it became my job to find the drugs after my homework was done. I was not allowed back in the house until I scored. I wandered the streets of Madrid looking for hash whenever they ran out. I was raped so many times I couldn't tell you how many times it happened. I began to view my body as a tool to achieve the 1 thing I craved from my parents: love, praise & acceptance. When we left Spain, after dad was discharged for drugs, mom made a tampon out of hash & made me insert it for the international flight back to the States cuz if I got caught I was only 13 & would be charged as a minor. Now dad is dying of cancer. He has no insurance. I am crippled from a military service related injury. Mom wants me to move in & use my retirement funds to pay for the funeral & help with the bills & her grieving process. He has about a month left. My PTSD symptoms, specifically startle reflex have been worse than ever. My sister has no intention of doing anything to help. I am in therapy weekly & he says that if I try to help them I must set the boundaries & get his large family involved. Honestly, I don't know if I can handle the stress. I pray about it & the guilt I feel about the option of letting them take care of the house, bills, 5 bedroom house & 4 dogs conflicts me horribly. But I'm crippled so I would also have to pay for yard work, carpet cleaning etc. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Confused

You have permission to save

You have permission to save yourself.Any respect or thing else you may have"owed" that woman has been negated by her mental abuse of you. Your health issues are because of the mental stress you have lived with since childhood. You have permission and a right to cut all contact with the toxic one and work on improving your health. YOu will not burn in Hell for not honoring that parent,they often neglect to obey the part of the Bible that tells parents not to provoke their children. IT's all about them controlling you. NPD parents don't love their children period. They don't love anyone even themselves. However you cannot be soft hearted towards her ( that's like baring your throat to a wolf and expecting not be chewed up)because she will continue to eat you alive until you are dead or about exhausted literally to death then she will try to manipulate you into doing even more for her. That's how they get their jolly's, by putting us through hoops even when they know we are physically too sick or disabled. THEY DON'T CARE. NPDs view any act of kindness on our part as a green light to start the abuse because they believe that 1. We are stupid and 2. Our kindness is weakness. If you do decide to go no contact for self preservation be prepared for the on onslaught of crap that will inevitably come your way. If you look at their past behaviors when for whatever reason you weren't available to be their narcissistic supply source and make a list of behaviors. These never change. They are very predictable and the one thing you can count on is that they will be used over and over until they have you under their thumb and in their supply closet again. It's really hard to do this because the guilt of not doing what she wants and the anger you will have towards her will alternate continuously until you either give in or she finds another supply source.Take heart,IT CAN BE DONE. You just have to finally come to the sad realization that NPDs are incapable of real love for their children. NO one who really loves their kids treats them like a NPDer does. Also there is no depth too low for a NPDer to stoop if they think it will help them win and get their way. I found this to be quite useful and amusing at the same time. You've got to save yourself before it's too late.

http://thenarcissistatwork.com/2012/11/ignoring-the-narcissist-how-to-sp...

You may also want to research http://hannasomatics.com

Don't do it! You MUST draw

Don't do it! You MUST draw your boundaries. If you do move in with her, you WILL regret it and drive yourself crazy. People with NPD have a tendency to "feed" off of others, and no matter what you do, or try to do to get her acceptance and approval, it isn't going to work. I gave up on that a long time ago. When I realized that I would never get praise from my mom, I was a lot happier and I don't "beat myself up" anymore. My mom also has NPD. AND, the funny thing is that we were also stationed in Spain, yep, good old Torrejon AB in the mid 1970s. Heck, Just having to live in that shithole country would make anyone crazy! Trust me, I been there and done that. I always felt like Spain made moms NPD waaaay worse. She wouldn't participate in any activities, she slept ALL day, and if we woke her up we would be screamed at. She also neglected us kids big time, to the point that one night when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, dad caught me eating raw bacon out of the fridge...hey, I was only a little kid, and mom refused to cook at all, and I was hungry darnit.I didn't know that you werent supposed to eat it raw? Dad went off on mom and stomped into her room and demanded that she be a mother to us. I think that made her resent us even more. Lets not forget about the time when I broke my wrist on the monkey bars at ROAKS school. Since you were a dependent and lived there, I am sure you are/were familiar with that school. So, the nurse had to call dad on base to fetch me, and he had to go get mom. We lived in ROAKS as well. I wasn't greeted with a frantic parent (mom) worried about me. In fact it was quite the opposite. Dad came into the nurses office for me and I had fallen asleep waiting for him...He and the nurse woke me up on that little bed/cot in the nurses office. I was in tears cause my arm hurt so bad. He got me to the car, and I wasn't greeted by a loving mother. As soon as I got in the back seat and looked at mom, her words were "YOU RUINED MY PLANS FOR TODAY"!! as she looked at me with her arms folded in front of her and eyes like daggers cast in my direction. It was awful. To know a mother could treat her child like this. So, fast forward 40 years, and she hasn't changed and never will. Dad told her when he got divorced from her that "You are going to grow to be a very lonely and bitter old woman. " It is true. She IS a very lonely and bitter old woman.

judgemental friends

Hi Crimson. Dont know if you still read this page but Id like to share a discovery I have made on those friends who protest your choices.
It seems that the people who say 'but this is your parent!'' actually were abused themselves but have not registered the fact. Either because they are in denial or because they simply dont recognise that their upbringing was abusive (having nothing to compare to).
On the other hand, Ive noted that those who were brought up in a loving home CAN compare their relationships with their parents to your experiences and say things like 'how could a mother / father treat you like that''
Hope this helps when dealing with Judgers

Mother

Being torn between guilt, disappointment and my need not to be manipulated, hurt and confused is awful. And in a way it's her way to claim her control over me yet again. My mother never yelled at me or was abusive. Just critical, controlling and not interested. The indifference was the worst. I felt I didn't exist. And now when she is 83 and frail, she expects "closeness", attention and care. When I try to get closer sooner or later she hurts me terribly with some random remark. My family thinks I exaggerate, and that's who she is I should forget it. On top of that it seems she is oblivious to the damage she does and when gently confronted plays victim and has to be comforted.
I understand she is a child emotionally and had not received enough love herself. But how do I balance it? How do I protect myself?

To let you know......

You are not exaggerating. Your mother knows exactly what she is doing because she has a defensive plan firmly in place that she plays like a violin when confronted. she claims victimhood and gets even more attention. No oblivion at all.

The way I play it is not trying to have an equal-relationship with my mother. When your mother throws out a hurtful remark say nothing. Change the subject and reduce your tone of voice to flatness. You may have to cut your interactions down to manageable segments like 45 minutes. At the first sign of bad behavior head for the exit. She'll slowly learn that her actions have consequences.

My mother seems more upbeat in the morning and gets angrier and more controlling toward the end of the day. I visit at 10AM when she can manage her behavior. Also, have a friend you can call that is willing to listen to you rant the minute you leave your mother. They should be forwarned when you are visiting mom and be ready for that call.

My mother does the exact same

My mother does the exact same thing and she too is 83 years old. She will actually insult then when I play it cool toward her she plays victim. She is very clever and very manipulative even today. I try not to take it personally because she does need care but she was always this way but much worse now. I do everything I can for her but it is never enough -- it never was. She truly is the travel agent for guilt trips and through all her memory loss and victim playing she is always critical and ready to slam me with some horrible verbal crap. She is mean and angry and my only prayer is that I don't end up the same way.

You protect yourself by surrounding yourself with those who love and care for you. Do what you can for Mom but be nice to you too.

mine too.....

I still find it difficult to talk about my mother like this - guilt still plays a big part in my mind. I have known for a very long time that all the lies and manipulation couldn't be right but I was brought up with them so while I was young it was normal. My mum is now 83 and I'm 62 and finding out about NPD has been like a revelation. I had made a bullet point list a few years ago, outlining all the things that didn't seem right and yet that I couldn't understand. For example, feigning illness, alienating friends, saying hurtful things without apparently realising how they affected me. When my son rang her to tell about his wonderful exam results she told him she was ill and he'd have to call back - how hurtful - I couldn't believe it. When he announced his engagement she said immediately that she wouldn't be at the wedding. On the day of the wedding I rang her after the ceremony to tell her that it was a sunny day - "it is here" was her reply. She told neighbours that that day was the worst day of her life because everyone else was away enjoying themselves. When my dad broke the news to her that he had cancer, she rang me and told me she felt as though she'd had a sledgehammer through her head - it was all about how it affected her. When I walk to the shops with her she starts shouting "you're not too old for a thrashing" - in her mind it's amusing. But we have a drama in every single shop. She rings me at all hours demanding I go round with painkillers or because she's "ill". She's had every xray and every test and there's nothing the matter. I can't stand the play acting any more. She now tells me that my five year old grandson is wicked and deceitful - I'm sure she does this because she knows I have a close bond with him. She copies the way I have my hair and has started wearing the same perfume as me. She has cut relatives and "friends" off for years always believing that she's in the right. She is now a sad elderly lady, spending every day in her pyjamas and lying in bed. She hasn't got a single friend and no-one visits her - apart from me - so it looks as though I'm stuck with it unless anyone here has any suggestions. And I'd love to hear what any readers make of the personality I've described - has she got NPD? Oh, and I'm an only child!

Your story is very familiar .

Your story is very familiar . Narcissistic parents ( esp mothers) are the most damaging creatures to ones self. Be pleased you shared your story because you are not alone. Walk away and save yourself when you need to. You are worthy , and sucks for your mom that she missed out on that for the 60+ years she had the chance to.

Controlled Mom / Narcissist Dad

I can relate. My mother is very manipulative. You cannot disagree with her about anything because she will either cut you off -- making up an excuse to end the conversation or will burst into tears even when you are reasonably calm. My father is excessively narcissistic and wants everything in life to serve his needs at all times. He is very wealthy, so my mother plays into this and encourages and supports it. In order to feel in control, she emotionally manipulates me by making little demeaning remarks and then denying it, shutting me out when I am hurt or upset, and just plain not communicating about anything that would be important to me. When I was a kid my dad was violent and my mother used me to direct his anger away from her. My mother and I have a little bit better relationship now. But I still harbor a great deal of rage inside me. She basically chose wealth over the safety of me as a child. I try to see them still, since they are elderly now. But I find I have to remind myself constantly not to slip into old ways of feeling denigrated by them. I have decided that I will only relate to them in a manner that I feel is in accordance to my values and what I want my relationship with my parents to be like. I have to constantly refocus on myself and be very clear to myself about what I want my relationships to reflect about me. While not a perfect solution, this helps me to avoid reacting to them and losing control of my own thoughts, wishes and feelings.

Controlling Mom / Narcissist Dad

I can relate. My mother is very manipulative. You cannot disagree with her about anything because she will either cut you off -- making up an excuse to end the conversation or will burst into tears even when you are reasonably calm. My father is excessively narcissistic and wants everything in life to serve his needs at all times. He is very wealthy, so my mother plays into this and encourages and supports it. In order to feel in control, she emotionally manipulates me by making little demeaning remarks and then denying it, shutting me out when I am hurt or upset, and just plain not communicating about anything that would be important to me. When I was a kid my dad was violent and my mother used me to direct his anger away from her. My mother and I have a little bit better relationship now. But I still harbor a great deal of rage inside me. She basically chose wealth over the safety of me as a child. I try to see them still, since they are elderly now. But I find I have to remind myself constantly not to slip into old ways of feeling denigrated by them. I have decided that I will only relate to them in a manner that I feel is in accordance to my values and what I want my relationship with my parents to be like. I have to constantly refocus on myself and be very clear to myself about what I want my relationships to reflect about me. While not a perfect solution, this helps me to avoid reacting to them and losing control of my own thoughts, wishes and feelings.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

my dad

My dad is 81 and in hospice care. He is an extreme narcossist. When my mom got cancer it was what about me. I am the youngest and stupidly even stayed in the same house for 16 years of my marriage. After my mom past it was me who stayed to take care of him for several years after mom died. To the detriment of my husband and children. I have always been ridden with guilt that I left when he didn't want me there to begin with. He is more in love with his possessions than any person in his life. He has alienated everyone. I moved 600 miles away and when we talk on the phone he literally talks straight through I don't have to say a word. He has always talked crap about each of his kids to the other. He doesn't trust any of us never did. He has accused each one of us for wanting his money. Yet I still feel guilty for not being there taking care of him. Therapy finally is helping.

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Karyl McBride, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

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