5 Signs Your Kids Have a Narcissistic Grandmother

Updated on February 20, 2020
kalinin1158 profile image

Lana is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor who helps women to regain their power after experiencing toxic relationships.


A narcissistic mother controls, abuses, and manipulates her children. Why would she be any different as a grandmother?

The following are five telltale signs of a difficult or narcissistic granny.

Signs of a Narcissistic Grandmother

  1. She has no respect.
  2. She undermines your authority as parents.
  3. She plays favorites with the grandchildren.
  4. She tells your kids inappropriate or hurtful things.
  5. She is a "come-and-go" kind of grandma.

1. She Has No Respect.

Respect for other people doesn't come easy to her. She wants to get respect, but she doesn't want to give it. And, since she doesn't respect you, she can't stop meddling and inserting her opinion into everything—because her opinion is the only one that matters.

But, it's not merely an opinion. It's a systematic campaign to criticize, belittle and denigrate you as parents. And no matter how hard you try, she is never satisfied. She always finds a reason why you're bad.

Now, this sucks for you, but how does that affect grandchildren, you ask? The older they are, the more they understand. Seeing their mother or father disrespected will surely have a negative impact on them. It might even give them an idea that it's OK to treat other people badly.

Conversely, if no one acknowledges the offensive behavior, it might teach them to silently accept mistreatment.

2. She Undermines Your Authority as Parents.

She believes she knows best when it comes to your children because she raised children of her own. She believes she is a perfect mother. Or maybe deep down she knows she messed up, and now she wants a "second chance" with a grandchild.

Either way, she will openly (or secretly) defy your instructions. She won't follow your instructions when babysitting. She will belittle or mock your parental choices. And she will passive-aggressively imply that the child behaves better (sleeps better, eats better) when with her.

If you tell her: "No cookies before a meal," she will try to sneak your kid an Oreo when you're not looking. Call her out on it, and she will act surprised, offended, or claim that she just "forgot."

The result? A child who now thinks that it's OK to disobey parental rules as long as you're at grandma's.

Difficult grandmothers have trouble distinguishing between the role of a parent and the role of a grandparent. That's why they are often the meddlers of the family.
Difficult grandmothers have trouble distinguishing between the role of a parent and the role of a grandparent. That's why they are often the meddlers of the family. | Source

3. She Plays Favorites With the Grandchildren.

In this scenario, one grandchild (or several) are deemed "worthy," while the others are not.

It can be expressed in myriad ways, but most notably, it shows in verbally comparing the children, making unfair judgements and choosing the "winner" of the family based on some superficial characteristic.

This is a form of emotional abuse. It can seriously damage a child's self esteem, especially if it's tolerated by other family members. If you have a grandma who does that to your kid(s), for the love of god put a stop to it.

4. She Tells Your Kids Inappropriate or Hurtful Things.

She habitually manipulates her grandchildren to do what she wants them to do ("Grandma will be sad if you won't come visit me tomorrow").

Worse yet, she may be telling them things that undermine their self-esteem, their happiness and their identity. Just like her own children, her grandkids are the extensions of her, so she will do whatever she can to mold them into something she can find "worthy" of her.

If a grandparent is a source of guilt, shame or anxiety for your child, you need to address the situation and take appropriate action.
If a grandparent is a source of guilt, shame or anxiety for your child, you need to address the situation and take appropriate action. | Source

5. She Is a "Come-and-Go" Kind of Grandma.

In extreme cases of ill-being, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, criminal behavior, mental illness etc., a grandparent might be absent for obvious reasons, or come and go depending on the circumstances.

But when dealing with a difficult (grand)mother, her controlling and narcissistic tendencies (that put her at odds with people in general) can be the reason why she intermittently disappears from her grandkids' lives.

Even the slightest offense will be perceived as a huge slap in the face, and from that point on you and your entire family is dead to her. That includes your children - her grandchildren. She will cut them out of her life as surely as she will blame you for it.

This sudden separation from the grandmother can be confusing and painful for the child. They didn't do anything wrong, yet grandma seems to have abandoned them. Obviously, this is unhealthy and harmful.

Should You Cut Contact With a Narcissistic Grandmother?

Some of her toxic behavior will affect your children directly (favoritism), some - indirectly (disrespecting the parents). But inevitably she will cause them harm. It's the way she is. She hurts those close to her.

As a parent, you have a responsibility of protecting your kids. So you have to at least consider whether your children will be better off without her.

You might be thinking, but what about raising resilient kids? Shouldn't they be exposed to every kind of person so they can grow into emotionally intelligent adults? And shouldn't we let our kids forge their own relationships with their grandparents?

Absolutely, but narcissistic people can be dangerous. They are users and manipulators, and in the end, they only care about themselves. A narcissistic grandmother might try to turn your own kids against you, just to get back at you. She might use them as "narcissistic supply." Or she might be slowly destroying their self-esteem with her "helpful" criticism.

Children are hypersensitive. A slightest comment or even a joke can become their inner voice, making them feel ashamed or inferior in some way. Oftentimes children can't verbalize why they feel bad about themselves. As parents, we have to hear them even when they're not saying a word.

Narcissism FAQ

What Is the Personality of a Narcissist?

Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior. They lack empathy and consideration for other people. They have an excessive need for admiration. Others often describe people with NPD as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding.

What Causes Narcissism?

But, behind their masks of extreme confidence, the narcissist is a fragile and vulnerable to the slightest criticism. Narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life. These include their relationships, their work, their schooling, or their financial affairs.

Do Narcissists Love Their Children?

Narcissists can't develop the ability to empathize with others. Unfortunately, they can never learn to love. This doesn't change when narcissists have children. They may support one child more than another, but they don't truly love them. The narcissist parent sees their child as a possession who can be used to further their own self-interests.

What Types of Narcissists Are There?

Classic Narcissists
Also known as High-Functioning, Exhibitionist, or Grandiose Narcissists, these are the typical narcissists that most people think of when they hear the term “narcissist.” These are the attention-seeking narcissists who brag about their accomplishments, expect others to flatter them, and feel entitled to special treatment.
Vulnerable Narcissists
Also known as Fragile, Compensatory or Closet Narcissists, they still feel as if they are superior to most people they meet, however, they actually despise the spotlight. They often seek to attach themselves to special people instead of seeking special treatment themselves.
Malignant Narcissists
They often have a sadistic streak that makes them different from the other two major types. Their primary goal is to dominate and control, and they will use deceit and aggression to accomplish it and lack remorse for their actions.
Overt Narcissists
Both overt and covert narcissists may put people down, boast, and look for opportunities to take advantage of people, but Overt narcissists are more outwardly aggressive.
Covert Narcissists
Both overt and covert narcissists may put people down, boast, and look for opportunities to take advantage of people, but Covert narcissists work behind the scenes or are more passive-aggressive.
Somatic Narcissists
This sub-type does not want to be outshined by their partner, but they do want someone around who enhances their status because, to them, their partners are objects they can show off.
Cerebral Narcissists
Cerebral narcissists are the know-it-alls and think of themselves as the most intelligent ones in the room, trying to impress people with their accomplishments and positions of power.
Inverted Narcissists
A special type of covert, vulnerable narcissist, They seek to attach themselves to other narcissists to feel special, and are only satisfied or happy when they are in relationships with other narcissists.

Are Narcissists Happy?

Unfortunately, narcissists will never be happy. In fact, contrary to the common misperception, narcissists are never happy. While they might seem satisfied in themselves, they are never truly satisfied.

Can Narcissists Be Cured?

If someone can be cured of multiple personality disorder, then there's an argument that it may be possible for people to be cured of narcissistic personality disorder. That said, the common perception is that these personality disorders can only be managed and not necessarily "cured."

Ways to Talk to a Narcissist About Their Behavior

  1. Ask clarifying questions.
  2. Use humor. It helps to entertain them a little.
  3. Separate the behavior from the person.
  4. Ask directly whether the individual is a narcissist.

How Many People in the U.S. Are Mentally Ill?

Mental illnesses are very common in the U.S. In fact, nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness. As of 2016, the number was 44.7 million. Mental illnesses include many conditions that can vary in degree of severity. Two broad categories can be used to describe these conditions. Additional information on mental illnesses can be found on the NIMH Health Topics Pages.

Common Mental Illnesses

# Inflicted
Bipolar Disorder
A mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.
60 million people worldwide
Feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
300 million people worldwide
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
1 in 13 people worldwide
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration.
Between 2 and 6%
Psychotic Disorder
Severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions.
Varies greatly by location and social structure.

Is Narcissism a Societal Trend?

Narcissism becomes a major problem when the person becomes preoccupied with the self, needing excessive admiration and approval from others, and showing complete disregard for other people’s sensitivities. Whole governments can behavior in narcissistic ways, writing self-serving policy. Narcissism can also become a cultural trend. Narcissistic behavior can also be learned. In fact, social scientists now claim that it has become a modern “epidemic.”

What Is a Valuation Measurement?

When talking about a country's opinion of itself, social scientists measure whether a country cares more about domestic affairs or foreign. Recently, a report revealed which countries have a much better internal reputation than external reputation. In other words, these countries have much higher opinions of themselves than other nations’ do. Below is a list of nations that are the most narcissistic in the world.

Most Narcissistic Countries

Valuation Gap
1. Russia
There’s a gigantic 40.8-point difference between Russia’s internal and external valuations.
2. United States of America
The U.S. is the second-most narcissistic country in the world, with a huge 23.4-point gap between its internal and external valuations.
3. Turkey
The gap between its internal and external valuations is an entire 18.8 points.
4. Peru
The difference between Peru’s internal and external valuations reached 17.3 points.
5. Colombia
The South American country had a 12.4-point difference between its internal and external valuations.
6. Morocco
This North African country had a gap of 11.5 points between its internal and external valuations.
7. Mexico
Mexico has a 9.5-point gap between its internal and external valuations.
8. Chile
The country has a 9.2-point difference between its internal and external valuation.
9. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom showed an 8.1-point difference between its internal and external valuations.
10. Germany
Germany has an 8.1-point difference between its internal and external valuations.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • What do I do if my narcissistic mother manipulates my adult children and they can’t see her behavior as disrespectful to their parents?

    That's every parent's nightmare. Kids, even adult kids, are unfortunately an easy prey for the manipulator. You can talk to them, you can try to make them see your point of view, but if they've been "groomed" by your mother, they won't listen. In fact, they might become even more loyal to grandma.

    All you can do is let it be, and hope that with time they will see the truth. Because no matter how good a manipulator she is, the truth always comes out eventually.

  • My kids really can't stand their grandmother; she possibly has spent too many years teaching religion. The other day she came over for my son's bday. He did not want to hug her(he told me he does not feel comfortable). She then threatened to take his gift away, is that right?

    No, it's not right. Kids should never be forced to hug or kiss anyone, or be touched when they don't want to. They need to know that their body and their personal space should never be violated to please the adults. This way, if a stranger does it, a child knows that it's wrong.

    People from older generations don't understand that when they demand affection from their grandkids. You should have a talk with your mom/MIL about this. And threatening to take the gift away - that's just mean.

  • I have an extremely toxic mother but New Zealand law doesn't recognize emotional abuse as harmful. I want to cut her from our lives. What can I do?

    I'm not sure how to answer that question. If there's nothing you can do legally and you believe your mother is emotionally abusive, try talking to your children about what emotional abuse is, how to recognize it and how to deal with it. It might be a good life lesson they'll be glad they learned.

  • Is there a way to cut my mother off while still communicating with others in her household? She currently controls the narrative and is using social media to gain attention.

    That's a tough situation. I've been there. You can still communicate with other family members (unless they've been totally manipulated by her) but it's tough because everyone's affected by this riff in the family. Still, it's not on you; it's on her. If you decide to go no contact, it's because her behavior is so destructive and unacceptable that you don't see any other way. It sucks that she controls the narrative (as is usually the case) but people who love you will see your side.

© 2018 Lana Adler


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    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

      I’ve seen a lot of articles on the internet lately where people make general statements about psychological disorders with lists of specific traits of the mental disorders. People who read these articles seem to be using it as a way of diagnosing their family and friends with serious mental disorders. People, you need to remember that these disorders need to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or appropriate mental health professional! You can’t diagnose people with information from the internet or by a specific situation or occurrence. Just because your relative or friend does something you don’t agree with or like, or has a moment once in a while, or is imperfect, or shows some selfishness does not automatically mean they have a psychiatric diagnosis. Many of you sound like a bunch of zealots on a witch hunt with your self righteous comments and opinions! Before you start cutting off relationships and burning people at the stake, please ask yourself if you, yes YOU, are treating your friends and relations with kindness, understanding, patience and love. Examine yourself closely and see how you could improve yourself to make a relationship better. If you don’t trust your parents with your children, then you go visit too. You don’t have to move in for heavens sake. Children are quite resilient and forgiving. They understand if a relative is a little crazy and love them anyway. That’s why children are so delightful. We as adults often lose that endearing character trait. Everyone is imperfect, including you. It’s a fact that most people will exhibit momentary or short term characteristics of what could be considered traits of a mental illness in their lifetime, especially when things get tough. And yet we all need forgiveness and understanding, and if it doesn’t work, then keep trying. Love usually wins the day and life is much better when people try. (Obviously I’m not talking about child molesters and murderers here). Just because you read something on the internet does not make it true, so be careful what you are influenced by. Seek truth and love and good communication.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      My mother always thinks when im coming to visit her and bring my daughter down im leaching off her when im just bringing her down snacks or my daughter ask to see her grandma. What should i do? Shut her off completly as i am expecting another baby?

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      My ex mother in-law manipulated me to sign my rights of telling me that her daughter will leave with my boys if I don't sign so I gave in ... Now she has psychological manipulated my boy agent me and I don't know what to do ??? Can I get some advice??

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 months ago from California


      the contact with your kids *has to* be on your terms. If your mother can't agree to that, that's her choice. It is NOT on you. Remember that a loving grandmother would have done anything to be able to spend time with the grandchildren, even if it hurt her pride. Your mother is expecting you to cave in eventually, so once again, she can have her way. Clearly, it's a manipulation. Unfortunately, the victims in this blame game are your children.

      Like I said, it's a difficult situation but you have to stay firm when it comes to the welfare of your kids.

      Perhaps, a conversation with your children is in order. Depending on their age, you can be as open or as discreet as you choose. Something along the lines of: we all still love grandma but we won't be seeing her for some time. She's working on some issues and will visit/call you when she's better. This is not your fault. Grandma still loves you very much etc.

    • profile image

      Stuck on stuck 

      5 months ago

      Lana, thank you for the helpful article. You wrote in one response below:


      this is a difficult situation. You want the grandparents to be supervised when they're seeing your kids. Not sure it will go over very smoothly at all. But this is about the welfare of the kids so do what you must to protect them. If this is what's best for them in your opinion, do it without fear or shame or guilt."

      My narc mother refuses to see my kids supervised. She has let this persist for months and my kids are crying to see her. How to I enable contact if she won't agree to supervised time together with me?

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      6 months ago from California


      I'm sorry to hear that. It sounds like a tough situation.

      I'm not sure I have advice for you...Living with your mother-in-law is always challenging (even if she's great), even more so when you don't have the support of your partner...In the end, it all depends on what you're willing to accept.

      One more thing...You are a good mother no matter what your MIL says or thinks. Believe that. Know that deep deep in your heart. No one can take that away from you. Everyone makes mistakes. It sounds like you've learned from yours.

      Wishing you well,


    • Melmartinez profile image


      6 months ago

      My boyfriend's mother hates me and we live with her. she brainwashes his other children and my boyfriend telling them legally the can't be around me witch is not true.just because I have lost my children in the past to the courts it does not Dem me as a bad mother . But in her eyes it does!! I only made bad choices in the past but never hurt my children! She makes my life literally a living hell .she doesn't Respect my wishes when it comes to my daughter who stays with her during the day, (like giving her a bottle after I broke her from it.) My boyfriend is a momma's boy so his help in defensive I get none!!! Please help me what can I do?

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      7 months ago from California

      Classic narcissists...manipulative and in denial about their own massive flaws...

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      I have toxic inlaws who play my partner and his ex against each other, and ise the kids to have control over my partner. And when he brings it to their attention they say he needs help and they are always on his side..when its clear they are not. Thwy make my partner feel useless and that he ant male his own decisions on his kids and they interfere with his bonding time with his own kids.

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      I have a mother who does not respect me or really cares anything about me as she has put it my children are my only saving grace. I have 2 children and she has 4 grandchildren but she is only concerned with my oldest. She only calls to speak to him! If I say my children can’t go with her then she sends me a long text about how I’m hurting her or I’m jealous of their relationship. That one day they will grow up and can see her and they will hate me for “keeping them from her” My youngest has stopped wanting to go with her. I know this can’t be normal grandmother behavior!! Advice anyone?

    • ShadowEnigma profile image

      Marilee NiEtain 

      10 months ago from Soul Tribe Sanctuary - Northern California

      Okay, so what about the grandmother who has estranged herself for her own well-being and is scapegoated? This skewed public argument of pop-psych narcissism has become very damaging to the dynamics of healing. From ALL sides of the issue.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      My mother cheated on my father with her old high school boyfriend through their entire marriage (45 years). My father was a very good husband, father, and provider, and too passive for his own good. I'm not sure if he stayed with my mother because he loved her, to keep the family together,or because he was afraid of her. She had a very wicked temper and nobody wanted to get on her bad side. She was a master manipulator and would alternate between cussing, crying, and demeaning others to get her way. By the time I was in junior high my mother left our house every weekend to stay with her boyfriend on the pretense of doing things with her girlfriends in another town. My father would stay home watching t.v. and being very lonely. It was a miserable way to grow up. My mother also favored my older brother who is worthless to this day and has become a lazy alcoholic along with his now adult son. Unfortunately, my father died before my mom and she spent all their inheritance that came from my dad's side of the family on my brother and nephew. My nephew has overdosed too many times to count and is in re-hab yet again after another near death experience. My nephew stole 50,000 from my mother's account before she died and of course she forgave him because he and my brother were her favorites. My sister and I and our children were used by my mother as pawns. I'm glad she is dead but unfortunately the damage she did to everyone in the family lives on.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      10 months ago from California


      that just goes to show you that toxic people come in all shapes and forms...It must be very painful and disorienting to have a close family member, a grandmother of all people - to be emotionally abusive for no apparent reason. I know you know this but...I want to say it anyway: it's not your fault!!! There's nothing about who you are or what you did that could have caused it, it's her own sick mind...I hope it gets easier for you. Peace :)


    • profile image

      Alyssa Jordan 

      10 months ago

      I have a narcissistic grandmother who is the living epitome of this article. Ever since I was younger, she called me every name in the book, yelled at me in public, humiliated me and mocked me, whenever I didn't go along with what she wanted me to be or act.

      Then, she would lie to my parents and grandfather by saying things like, "I don't know why she's so rude to me, I love her." And go right back to making fun of me whenever she got a chance.

      I even struggle with a few mental health problems, including agoraphobia and anxiety disorders, and when we were in public, she pretended to be lost then told me, "I got so anxious and nervous because I couldn't find you. I felt so lost." Then she laughed in my face.

      I just stared at her in shock because I couldn't believe my own grandmother would make fun of a mental disorder I am currently getting therapy for.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      14 months ago from California


      this is a difficult situation. You want the grandparents to be supervised when they're seeing your kids. Not sure it will go over very smoothly at all. But this is about the welfare of the kids so do what you must to protect them. If this is what's best for them in your opinion, do it without fear or shame or guilt.

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      I have made the mistake of letting my toxic parents watch my son one day a week. I only realized how abusive they were after doing so. With the arrival of our second, I would like to put them both in day care and have supervised contact with those grandparents. Any suggestions on how to do so as smoothly as possible with said grandparents?

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      16 months ago from California

      Hi KidOfNarcissists,

      do you perceive your kids ever having contact with their grandparents or is it a permanent measure? That will affect how you talk about it to your kids.

      Whatever you choose to say, be honest, but don't go into too much detail or badmouth their grandparents. Kids that age are old enough to understand conflict but you don't want to overwhelm or frighten them. Just make sure they know that it's not their fault and that grandparents love them.

      Good luck!

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      I have recently set a boundary with my narcissistic parents of no contact. My children had been seeing them and it has stopped abruptly. They have started asking about their grandparents. What are some good word choices to use for a 4 and 6 year old to explain? Thank you

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Being ungrateful is a way of life for some people. Growing up does not necessarily comes with maturity, unfortunately.

      To read a one sided article, it's a disgrace

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Just wait until you're a grandmother...

    • profile image

      Horrible grandmother 

      18 months ago

      Hello , this grandmother thing is really difficult because they are the parents fault they are so stubborn. My grandmother is the worst . These people say that she don’t do anything to me bu5 she does and they don’t realize but when I tried to talk to her about them , it always results in a fight . This person since it’s her mother is ALWAYS on her side and even tho that women has done her bad in the past she has always defending her and later this person gets mad at me fo4 my reason which she doesn’t understand.

      What can I do to help this person understand that women is bad an to try to leave our family ? Btw this person is all welled up because her mother has cancer to her gallbladder which isn’t given to symptoms.

    • profile image

      Daphnee DUNKLEY 

      18 months ago

      I need your help and advise.

      How do I severe ties with my mother, I mean make sure she doesn't come close to and my children?

      Some people are lucky to have good parents, that wasn't my case when my parents got divorced due to my mothers cheating, my mother got custody of me even if my daddy tried his hardest. about 2 months after the divorce, my mother started to sexually molest me from the age of 13. TAs sad as the story may be, I need to cut the long story short. the mistake I made was not to press charges, all I did was to run away from her. When I had my 1st child, she used a private detective to locate my address, she came over an apologised, I fell for it. A couple of months down the line, she called social services stating that my child was malnourished. Social Services came and found nothing was wrong and then, I moved again, so that she may never make contact with me again, this was in 2008. A couple of months ago, she showed up to my new address, with the help of another Private detective, ever since, she turns up unannounced, I have even called the police to take her away, but before the police showed up, she ran away and left for abroad. she has been sending malicious letters and emails, I am really beginning to become worried now. I need to know what I can do within the law to stop her from coming close to me and my family.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      I am a 60-yr old mother of three adult children with kids of their own. I get along great with my kids and grandchildren. My husband and I live with one of our daughters, her husband and their young child. We pay a little towards house bills and provide in-home childcare for them. The arrangement has worked out very well.

      The problem arises with my Dad; my kids' Grandfather.

      My 95-year-old father and I have a very thin, very fragile 'relationship'.

      My baggage with him goes waaaay back to my earliest memories. He is a classic, "old school" Italian, manipulative narcissist. He is also just like his mother, whom I knew very well before she passed away at the age of 99. My father's relationship with his own mother was strained, precarious, and often explosive.

      The only reason OUR relationship isn't explosive is due to my tolerance and always looking beyond his behavior, and excusing it because of how and by whom HE was raised -- while remembering he is my father, and that my mother raised me to respect my elders and "always forgive family... "

      All that said- Here's the problem;

      My children have heard snippets and stories over the years of how and why my relationship with my father has evolved into the mess that it is. But my dad was ALWAYS been good to my kids (and all his other grandchildren), and I never influenced them to feel one way or the other about "Pops".

      I always allowed them to form and develop an untainted relationship with him on their own terms and based on their own experiences with him.

      But now, since my Mom passed away a few months ago, and my siblings and I are going through unimaginable grief, my dad has once again angered me, hurt me, and discounted my feelings several times.

      One of my sibs has taken over the care of my dad since my mother died. Dad moved in with my younger brother and his family and is very happy being pampered, catered to and indulged... just like he was with my mom for 75 years.

      But he's still as narcissistic, selfish, and emotionally disconnected as ever. I'm ready to totally disconnect, I feel like I have to.

      But what about my kids? They feel torn. They don't know what to do. They feel loyal to me and my feelings, and they fully acknowledge how I've been hurt one too many times... But what do they do?

      Should they stay away from their grandfather -- because that's what I plan on doing? (I would never ask them to).

      What about when there is a holiday or family event?

      They are afraid how awkward things will be if they go, and how me and my husband not going will make things tense and uneasy for everyone.

      What do they say when Pops says "Why won't your mother come to see me? Why isn't she here today? Why is she mad at me?" They don't want to be in that position.

      Even if my father doesn't say anything at all, my sibs will be angry because I'm "hurting dad's feelings" and I'm being "a big baby about things".

      I'm always in that no-win situation with my family, and I know it and accept it. But how do my kids deal with this?

    • profile image


      18 months ago


      Just reading that comment of yours about your "grandmother" and your mom looking after her.

      I'ts a difficult situation to be in, but keep this in mind, there's been situations in the past where carers got ill looking after family members, and when that happened the person receiving the care thought, "Well, i guess I'm just going to have to do things for myself" Not saying that's the whole situation.

      Basically, just saying, your mom needs to keep that in mind, and withdraw emotionally a little if she can.

      { No point 2 people getting ill } get my meaning. "Tell her i said that" That might change your moms whole "mental approach" in how she looks after her.

      Lana. Good article.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      19 months ago from California


      Try showing your mom some love and support. It’s not easy taking care of narcissistic family members. Knowing that she has a friend in her daughter will make it easier on her.

    • profile image

      Mandy Council 

      19 months ago

      This is my mother in law. I feel like you interviewed her...She told my son I didn't want him, behind my back. She told strangers I didn't want him. Abuse came out, and I can't get the department of social services, to understand our situation. They won't investigate the abuse, as in child saying she put him in a closet during snack time, she slapped my child in the face, other acts of abuse. She would demand to see my child, was angry when we missed a text from her about seeing our child. I confronted her about the abuse, in a TEXT and woman shut down. When before the abuse came out, she would lie to her son, saying I TEXT her rude thing's, and he would read the TEXT and apologize for getting mad me, as I simply did nothing wrong. She would go off on me, yell and scream, it was crazy. She would say I CONTROL YOUR HUSBAND, I CONTROL THIS FAMILY. It was insane. Thankful she is now out of our life!

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      19 months ago

      My grandmother is narcissistic she keep fighting with my mom, My mom does everything for her managing her health, food everything still she not satisfied.

      What to do?

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      19 months ago

      I'm sort of on the other side of this i guess. My daughter got pregnant to a low-life who wanted nothing to do with her or the baby. Nor did he deserve them. I was there for them for most of the first 6 years. Kept that sweet girl 3-4 days of most weeks. She is my Pook and i am her Nammie. Things changed a little. They met a nice fellow and he moved in. My days with her were much less which was fine. But, my granddaughter started having serious behavior problems mostly while at home. So, now the problem apparently falls on me, and I don't see her now. I don't see how this drastic change can be good for her. I know it feels as if someone has reached in and is twisting my heart every day...

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      19 months ago from California


      That is a difficult dilemma indeed. We know that narcissists use others, including kids and grandkids, as sources of narcissistic supply. You also acknowledge that your mom always puts her needs first. But you’re also reluctant about putting your son in daycare.

      I can’t tell you what you should do. Only you can make that decision. Trust what your gut tells you. Be mindful of any signs of trouble. And maybe look into the daycare options you have available. It might be a good idea for your son to play and socialize with other kids on a regular basis. He’s two so maybe 2-3 days a week might be a good start.

      Good luck!


    • profile image


      20 months ago

      My mother is a narcissit. I have a two-year old son, work fulltime and I am divorced. I need help and only my parents can assist me (or daycare). My kid loves his grandparents. I see what my mother does, how she manipulates my kid. I usually don't feel good arround her, as I can acknowledge how she tries to manipulate me and how she uses my kid for her own needs. How she always puts herself fisrt. It is sickening. My father is "normal" (as normal he can be after 40 years married to a narcisist). I need help, I am not sure what would be worst: 9 hours of daycare all year-round or exposure to my mother from time to time?

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      20 months ago from California


      I just saw your comment, so sorry! The website identified it as spam for some reason.

      I think you're absolutely right, there should be a place like this! I've seen some websites here and there, and I'm also starting my own website (toxicties.com, coming soon) that I hope will be a place of support and education for victims of narcissistic abuse and other toxic relationships.

      So if you have any suggestions of your own, do share!

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      20 months ago

      Good grandmothers don't need to "blow their own trumphet"

      You Lana is cool, like one of my kids.

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      20 months ago

      Lana. The grandmother look's like "Richards Dawkins" but you know what ? You are way ahead of the game on this subject "and also" the only person i have come across yet who's explained what Narcissistic mean's and who it "applie's to"

      You look like "Mandy Harvey" Americas got tallent 2017 Deaf Singer who got the Golden Buzzer.

      Anyhow, After reading this you will either delete my post or not post it at all. Either way i'm cool, chilled. But i did notice paula posted on you're site, and that she was a little more respectful dealing with someone who know's what she's on about. Rightly so as well.

      Girl's to loud, Make's a lot of noise without saying anything. "Big Mouth"

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      21 months ago

      As a human being who has been through the unbelievable, I can very much relate to what you have said. I believe the biggest obstacle for victims of narcissistic abusers, is that by the time we figure out that we have been abused, the abuse has gone on for years and years. We fight just to be believed, question our own judgements and sanity before we figure out that the way we have lived is not normal. The people we trusted to protect, love and take care of us, used that very trust to abuse us. Then the battle begins. The world expects parents to love and want what is best for their child, so the abusers use this to their advantage as well and the victims are viewed as they must have done something wrong to deserve the treatment they receive. It's an uphill battle albeit an isolating one, all the way. We need a place or organization where we can all safely go to learn and heal. It needs to be a place that does not encourage revenge, retaliation or getting even in any way but a place that supports understanding, forgiveness of our abusers as this is for our own wellbeing and understanding but also supports no contact. It has taken me years to get to the point where I am now and I have still have years to go, in the healing department. It's hard to undo a lifetime of abuse that is unending. I wish I had had a place I could turn to in my earlier years. Do you have any suggestions? I know of one good place online that is a wonderful beginning but I'm not sure if it's okay to list it here, please advise. Thank you.

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      Dabby Lyric 

      21 months ago

      Thank you Lana!

      I should write a book about all the mess that I've gone through.

      It's Awesome that we can talk so openly about these situations.

      Thank you!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      21 months ago from California


      you're absolutely right and your story is so important to share too! I'm glad that you've been able to let some of that pain out by writing about it. It will take time but you're on the right path :)

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      Dabby Lyric 

      21 months ago

      Thank you Lana for that quote!

      My pain is so deeply rooted that it will take time to detox from the from the toxins.

      Side Note:

      For those of you who've decided that you don't 'fancy' the new member in the family, suck it up! If they have not done anything to hurt anybody, stay the hell out of their business and get some of your own! What you do will come back and bite you in the butt and you will not like it at all!


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      Dabby Lyric 

      21 months ago

      To Finally Accepting the Distance...

      My heart goes out to you! A lot of what you said hit home for me. I truly applaud you for speaking up and out about all of this. These types of abuse in dysfunctional families are sadly common and I have no doubt that you have helped someone out there who has been suffering in silence.

      I went through a horrible situation in my marriage and I thank God that I am away from it now. I actually have an article about it here. It's titled 'Surviving Toxic-In Laws.' The situation was way wore than I portrayed.

      Side Note: For those in romantic relationships, PLEASE be honest with yourself and your mate!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      21 months ago from California

      Finally accepting the distance,

      Thank you for your heartfelt message. I think it’s so important that you share your story and encourage others in a similar position to embrace their own path, their own choices when it comes to their family dynamics (including dysfunction, abandonment, abuse etc.)

      You have a powerful voice and a beautiful message.

      I’m reminded of a quote I’ve read a long time ago: “The wound is where the light enters you.” Use this pain to channel your light, to connect with others. It might bring you the healing you seek.

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      Finally accepting the distance 

      21 months ago

      Thank you Lana for your response.

      I won't divulge into more personal information but reading your perspective and interpretation of what I've said thus far has been empowering and very comforting.

      Again, I am so sorry for talking SO MUCH in your comment section, but I truly valued the insight I found here today.

      Thank you for being such a beautiful and inspiring light in such a confusing time.

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      Finally accepting the distance 

      21 months ago

      In response to Dabby Lyric-

      It is a complicated situation filled with more emotion and trauma than I can truly describe here. Coping with it has proven to be an even larger battle than it was to acknowledge the trauma. Seeking education, therapy, distance, and reading this page (and several others in the passing months) has helped significantly with redirecting my life and emotions.

      To be honest, even after 15 years of always standing alone in my own defense, it's difficult to truly feel like I'm not to blame. The veiled insults, the crazy making, the way she infantilized me and worshipped my children, and the way she counted on me wanting a relationship with her were all power plays to keep me under her thumb. How she gets away with it speaks volumes about the rest of my family ignoring it. My family has long toted the idea that family bonds are unbreakable. They strictly enforced the whole "blood is thicker than water" and family first for so long that it has allowed them to continue dignifying and accepting the family who have committed heinous acts against women and children (including but hardly limited to, extreme shaming, molestation, rape, and even murder) while denying the victims any room to speak. I was one of the victims from the ages of 5 to 16 and my shame in being one has long been a tool used to keep me silent.

      Appearances are everything in this family, I suppose. I often hate telling anyone about my childhood because it always ends with an open mouth stare and people simply not knowing how to respond. Our family is so respected in their religious community that my voice has become condemnation to their ears. Throughout my childhood this behavior was so normalized and brushed under the rug that I thought everyone else dealt with the same problems.

      Our family values their outward image so much that it has become easier to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear than it is to address the rampant dysfunction. This is easier when the victims are all isolated and left to feel as though they somehow brought their trauma upon themselves. This is how I felt for years. I am the product of years of conditioning, and only when I had children did I develop the strength to reach out and validate what I have always known was wrong.

      Her demanding access to my children without my presence there to monitor her behavior, is enough to know that I have taken flight from someone who doesn't respect boundaries or the authority of anyone else- let alone the law. She is the matriarch, and she will do anything to get her way- including destroying the children she once claimed to love so dearly.

      I'm honestly sorry for disclosing so much personal information, but I feel like I have to share this to help any others who have been placed in a similar situation. You're not alone. It took me 30 years to get to this point and I still have so much recovery to seek. I just want people to know that as terrifying as embracing this change can be- it is so necessary and so important for not just the individual but for the community they function in.

      We make the world what it is. Our voice, our struggles, and our silence are all integral parts of what creates our environment.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      21 months ago from California

      Finally accepting the distance,

      Thank you for sharing the story, and before I respond, I just want to compliment you on how intelligent and articulate you are in communicating your feelings and everything you had to go through with your mother. Great job!

      This is truly a gut wrenching account...It’s almost inconceivable that a parent would act that way towards their own child. But narcissistic people are those special snowflakes, aren’t they? Always a victim, never a villain.

      Everything is backwards in their world. A child wants to have a relationship with her father? “She’s trying to hurt me and is now the enemy.” A child wants to have a relationship with her mother? I’ll try to control her and berate her every chance I get. A child wants to distance herself from the toxicity of that relationship? I’ll turn it around on her and call her sensitive and dramatic. She wants to protect her children? I’ll start a smear campaign saying that she uses the children to hurt me.

      This is all very twisted, especially demanding to have a relationship with grandkids only. In what world is this OK? In a world of a narcissist. Stay away from her and from her flying monkeys. You’re doing GREAT. You’re hurting but I don’t feel much animosity towards your mother in your words. Mostly just pain. You’re a very kind person and I’m sorry you have to go through this. But you’re doing the right thing for yourself and for your family. Stay strong, and stay positive!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      21 months ago from California

      Hi @ilive4rain,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you had to go through this.

      Judging from what you said, I totally support your decision to disconnect from your mom for the time being. I know it’s painful but you have to act in the best interest of your child. Narcissistic people have a way of making kids (and adult children) feel inadequate and ashamed even when they didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just the way they are. Your daughter is still very young, she doesn’t need this. Maybe when she’s older she can choose whether she wants a relationship with her grandmother, but right now it seems that she’s better off without her.

      You have nothing to feel guilty about. You’re doing a great job of being a better mother to your daughter than your mom was to you. Keep it up!

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      Dabby Lyric 

      21 months ago

      To 'Finally Accepting the Distance'

      Lord, I'm so sorry for your pain and hurt. It's such a betrayal when those who claim to love you do their very best in trying to destroy you!

      The WORST thing you can do is use kids to further your cruel intentions against their parent(s). It's Disgusting and when said parent(s) stand against it, you're told 'put the kid(s) first...you always think of yourself!

      My daughter is only 2 but she'll learn how toxic the family is. She will start asking questions. Questions that nobody really wanna answer. I hurt for her!

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      Finally accepting the distance 

      21 months ago

      I am a child of divorce. When my mother left my Dad, she expected all of her kids to leave too. Of me and 3 other, older siblings, I was the only child who did not comply- I was the youngest. Both of my parents moved on and started new families, and I was often left as a second thought to the new families they set up for themselves.

      My mother has persisted in using guilt and manipulation to beat me down about attempting to have a relationship with my father over the past 20 years. As he hasn't always been the most impressive human being, I tried to understand her discontent- however it boiled over into an expectation of control over me and my adult life with my children. She has (in 10 years since the birth of my first child) tried to force me to plan two birthdays for each of my children so she doesn't have to see my father, embarrassed me at my own wedding by flipping him off just for saying hello to her (after trying to demand that he not be invited), demanded that she always get to see my children regardless of our constant fighting and my choice to distance myself, and continually denied any and all of her culpability in how chaotic my own childhood was. While my father was verbally abusive and a drug addict, she was always more covert and emotionally abusive, using her love and support as a tool to gain my compliance in her fight to make my father miserable post divorce. She wasn't particularly an addict, but she did drugs and drink with my father up until the divorce when she then turned into a born again woman who claimed all of those things were bad and that he forced her to do them. Basically they became arsenal to use against him since he had a record of rehab, while she kept her habits close to the chest and hidden.

      In recent years, I have placed a significant amount of space between her and I, as adulthood has revealed to me that her ideas are not as clean and innocent as she once jaded me to believe. As an adult, hearing her justify her selfish vindications against my father almost 20 years post divorce has shown me monumental truths about how selfish she was during their marriage. When she left my father, she left him for a man half her age who immediately moved in, and she has since told me I should be grateful she didn't move out of state with that man when he asked her too. She has said that I, "should be grateful she chose to stay and raise me instead of whisking away to a tropical state with him." I was 12. I never realized that was a valid question to any parent, let alone that a 12 year old me should have had to be grateful for my parent deciding to be a parent and not a flake. Even after the relationship with this man ended, she was fast to move in another man she worked with immediately after, and together they established the most ironic fortress of control and complete indenial about their roles in their divorces. Together they became a powerhouse of self-proclaimed victims to their exes, and both fed off of the mutual belief that neither of them did any wrong in their previous relationships.

      My father has been silent in his opposition to this, as he was never truly an active father after meeting his new wife and taking on her daughter. He stopped trying for a relationship when I moved out at 18, only coming around for the grandkids when he chose to. Even in his absence my mother continued to drag me through the mud about being his daughter and how he treated her- as if it was my fault. The past 15 years since the divorce, my mother made me the enemy she projected her anger towards my father onto. She has such a strong need for others to see her as a victim that she has championed me as the plague of her life. For years I have trudged through this hoping for recovery or a silver lining, but eventually I just became content with knowing that I would never have the kind of healthy mother-daughter relationship my friends had with their mothers.

      I tried fostering a relationship with my mother and my children and for the past 10 years have tried working through our arguments to the detriment of my own well-being. Over the years, my mother has purposefully usurped my authority with my children by arguing with me in front of them, gaslighting me about what I've experienced in childhood, degrading me with insults veiled as jokes (ie: i'm pregnant and she keeps telling me how fat I'm getting- when I rejected the insults she retorted by saying "oh get over it, you were too skinny before anyways") and has consistently referred to me as being "dramatic" because I react to her antagonism. She is phenomenal at finding the exact cut downs to make me feel lower than anything else in the universe. Things really took a sharp downward turn when I identified her splitting up my own two children, one male and one female, and playing favorites with my daughter while degrading her younger brother. Comically, he flipped his sister off at grandma's house once, and grandma keeps referencing THAT moment as an explanation for why he is so "disobedient and disrespectful". (He was there when my mom flipped my dad off at my wedding, and she walked around that evening openly bragging about what she had done.)

      Where this post unfortunately swirls together is in regards to my own children. The next generation. In recent years, I have chosen to distance myself from both of my parental homes because I am tired of being the only child trapped between warring parents. Remember, my other siblings stopped trying 15 years ago. Neither side will acknowledge my mental anguish, so I have chosen to remove myself and my family from both familial units- for the safety and security of myself and the family I have created. This decision has culminated into parental alienation, and I no longer feel it's advisable to have my children be alone with my parents. Or to be around them period. My father has accepted it, however my mother has turned to enlisting the help of my younger siblings to try and force me to allow her to maintain a relationship ONLY with my children. Some radical part of her actually believes she is entitled to them, and that it is acceptable to bypass myself and my husband completely and still play grandmother while actively hating us. She has resorted to using extreme guilt- "You're using the kids as pawns to hurt me!" and, "I only want to hear from/about them, I don't want your drama in my life" and, "You only get one mother" and, "I will always love you but" statements. Oh and the best two, "You're just like your Dad, go tell him now that you and him can be close because you've crushed my heart" and "I'll make sure no one contacts you when I die. "

      I realize all of this is deeper than I will ever be willing to dig in her psyche, but being actively involved in her life has become toxic for me and I have realized after so long that it is my responsibility to break that cycle.

      The most alarming part is her belief of possession over my children. She recently didn't call to wish me happy birthday but had my younger sibling text me guilt messages two weeks later about making sure my children will call her and wish her happy birthday. I didn't. Because I didn't, I received lengthy texts from 3 people (mother included) about how "shitty" my life is and how all I am doing is using my children to hurt her.

      In hindsight, this is my fault because I didn't stick up for myself sooner, but what girl doesn't want to be close to her mother when she has her own children? It took me so long to identify the toxicity that has always been present that it has caused irreparable damage to extended family. It has created a rift where my mother is demanding that people take her side- and the current situation very much resonates with the events that transpired when my parents first got divorced. I have enough friends and family from my husband's side and through our travels together to not feel as defeated or isolated as my mother wants me to. I have learned that the only way to protect my family is to sharpen the knife I cut the ties with.

      Beware of that point. That is the point of no return.

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      Dabby Lyric 

      21 months ago

      Oh God, I'm so sorry ilive4rain! I can fell that familiar pain and I hurt for you and yours!

      You are doing the right thing I protecting your Child!

      I don't understand why some people fell that they are 'owed' time with a child, no matter their relation. When you make it your life's mission to intrude, berate and destroy one or both of parents of that child, you forfeit ANY claim that you think you have! How the heck can you treat a human being like crap then have the audacity to ask to have their child overnight, let alone see said child?

      Take care and stay strong! Your daughter will appreciate this decision!

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      21 months ago

      My mother is highly narcissistic with diagnosed borderline personality disorder. She was incredibly abusive to me as a child, and has apologized incessantly for it, even though her ability to control her behaviors and inappropriate emotional reactions is severely limited. I have gone through extensive therapy and treatment for PTSD ver the years and have worked very hard to overcome.

      Our daughter is now nearly nine years old and since she was born, my husband and I have practiced controlled, scheduled and always supervised visits with my mom, who lives 2,000 miles away. In the beginning, she was terrific with us and our daughter but over the course of the past three or four years, her behavior and overall affect has become increasingly overbearing and domineering. Because of this, her visits have had to be reduced from two to three times per year to just one. She is especially hostile to my husband who has never tolerated her abuses.

      She just left from her latest visit and I am now convinced it will be the last one. As our daughter matures and becomes more and more self aware and independent, my mother has become more resentful of her autonomy. My daughter too is now too old not to witness my mother's hostility toward her father and observes my mother's facial expressions (apparently filled with rage) when I am not present or looking.

      As my mom and daughter said goodbye this last visit, my daughter had given her a kiss and hug but my mom wanted more affection than my daughter was willing to give. She sneered and hissed "I'm not going to hurt you, you know!" at her in a way that was obviously an attempt to shame my daughter for not being controlled by her. It disgusted me and hurt my child deeply.

      It may seem small to some but to me, that was the final straw. I will not be culpable in my daughter's emotional abuse by allowing my mother more chances to harm her. In the past I have thought about disconnecting from my mom and experienced great guilt. But this time, i have no guilt about this, but I do have terrible sorrow. I feel like my mom has died.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      23 months ago from California


      I think you did a great job communicating with your MIL in a respectful but firm manner. You let her know that you don't support favoritism, be it favorite grandmas or favorite grandkids. I don't think you were harsh at all.

      What you said about your mom also being your baby's grandmother...I mean, that's so sweet and so true. I never thought of it that way. And I do believe your mom will be watching over your baby, and will be a part of your baby's life, always.

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      23 months ago

      I don't think my mother in law is narcissistic, however, I noticed she likes playing favorite with her grandkids. She has already two grandkids from my oldest sister-in-law, the oldest grandkid is already over his 20s and the second one is less than 4. My brother-in-law (youngest one) and his wife had a baby this year, and for us, after many years of trying, we are going to have our first child. I know my MIL is over the moon knowing that she is having two new grandkids.

      My mother passed away many years ago, I only have my dad. We come from a different culture too. When I was little I never got the chance to meet all my grandparents: the two grandmas passed away when my parents were younger and not even married, another grandpa died when I was 3 and we were in another country, so I only got to meet the other grandpa but never got the chance to interact much. Yet, I still respected all of them. Just hearing the stories my parents would tell me about them made me admire and love them more.

      When my sister-in-law had her baby this year, it was bit of a scary time because they had to do an unplanned surgery. Her dad is the only one alive as her mom also passed away recently. So her dad was there for her and I believe, who would have her chosen to be her with aside from her husband? While we were in the waiting room, once her dad came out to say goodbye to us, my MIL made the comment "That is not fair! I should have been there too!"... I was shocked because, though the tone was not angry, it was a bit childish like whiny -and it was going to be our turn to be with her son and the other daughter in law and the baby. Now I know my child will have three grandparents alive: My dad, my MIL, and my FIL, however, these two last are divorced and they do not communicate at all. That is also the odd behaviour in this family. For the sake of equality and sanity, we haven't stopped talking to my FIL.

      My dad, who is also closer to the 80s, live with us when he is not traveling, for his age, he still very active and prefer traveling than staying at home. There is no question that he will get the opportunity of his life to be closer to his grandbaby than I was to my only one grandfather who was alive back in my childhood.

      Yet, recently there was this weird text message after I innocently mentioned in a conversation she started that my baby has also already adopted "grandparents" (friends from my parents, my aunts from afar who have been so excited for us once we told them the news about our baby). Her comment was "I am grandma #1". That hurt me a bit because I don't want to think that there is #1, then #2, etc. I am not sure if it was ok but at that moment my response was "everyone will get their fair share of love and respect from our child", and that even though my mother is not with us, she is also my baby´s grandmother. Thank goodness, things ended up well as she apologized. But I just now wonder if I was too harsh on her? My husband and I talked about that that our baby will be exposed to a broader culture and not just to the people in the US. I personally do not want to impose competitiveness or favoritism. A friend, after I commented about this worried that if I am putting her in an awkward situation, said that it sounded more like she is insecure and somehow wants to get such attention. Thoughts?

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 years ago from California


      thank you for sharing this. I can't imagine how hard it must be to have a narcissistic mother and to re-experience her abuse (to a degree) with your own kids.

      But at the same time, you grew so much from this hardship, and you evolved. Seeing her as a grandmother helped you heal the wounds from your childhood. And that's an amazing gift. You finally saw her clearly. So proud and impressed by you!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 years ago

      Lana, this is a topic I've never seen covered, but it's certainly been an issue in my family. In my naivety, I thought my narcissistic mother may change and be a good grandparent to my sons (at least, that was my hope). Surprise, surprise, she did not! She kept true to her life-long pattern and never spent the time to get to know them. She once gave them toy robots for Christmas when they were 16 and 13!

      While this was painful at times, it was also helpful to me. I finally saw her true colors and no longer blamed myself for her lack of love and attention during my childhood. She's been consistent, and I just needed to finally accept who she was.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 years ago from California


      I feel for you. I know it's frightening. The damage narcissistic mothers inflict is both real and severe. I'm sorry you had to go through that, and I'm sorry your daughter has to deal with it too, for now.

      The thing about narcissistic people though...they give themselves too much credit. They overestimate their knowledge, skills and power. Even though your mother threatens to take you to court, she won't be able to take your daughter away from you unless there's some serious issues you didn't disclose (drugs, crime etc.) You are the mother. You have the power, not her. Get your daughter back as soon as you can and don't let this woman near her again.

      Meanwhile you might want to join a narcissistic abuse support group. It can help you find strength and healing. Plus, no court in the world will give a child to a known emotional abuser.

      I believe in you, Jen. Identifying narcissistic abuse is half the battle. You've already come so far. You just need to go a little further. Don't let her intimidate you. Whatever she thinks she can offer your daughter is nothing compared to the unconditional love, care and protection you can give her. Good luck! :-) I hope this situation will resolve in the best way possible.

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      Jen Naay 

      2 years ago


      My daughter and I are experiencing this currently and it's all about to explode. I am a single mom, struggling financially. Over a year ago, I had my daughter stay with my mother while I gained financial stability. Over the course of her time there, so much toxicity and narcissistic behaviors have been expressed from my mother, my daughter is begging to come back to me. I have discovered just how damaged I am as well, being raised by this woman. It's frightening. My daughter called me on night scared out of her mind because her nana left her alone for two hours after an argument ensured and then came home and glared at her until my daughter broke down. I was livid. I am trying to get my daughter home to me this summer, after she completes 7th grade. My mother claims she will take me to court since I am a single income household and that I do not possess what she feels her granddaughter needs to grow up proper.

      I'm scared Lana. Scared of this woman and her power. Scared I will fail like she says I will. Scared I won't be able to save my daughter from her grasp.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Oh my goodness this sounds just like my daughter's paternal grandmother! All except number 5. I have tried to work with her regardless but now, 7 years later, have decided to cut her off. Several times I have tried to cut back her visits due to lack of respect or familial alienation (she hates my daughter having a relationship with any of my family members) and each time she has called cps and tried to obtain custody of my daughter! She's crazy and I'm so fed up. I'm currently going to court, yet again, because she filed a guardianship, not grand parent rights, but another attempt to take my child from me, all because I lowered her visitation time, not even cut it off, just reduced days spent at her house per month. I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars defending myself in court against her. I want her out of mine and my daughter's life permanently. This can't be over soon enough. Even my ex, her son, cut ties with her over 2 years ago and has been insisting his mother not see our daughter. Again, I've tried to be fair, but that is over. She obviously has NPD and it's been causing a lot of issues with my child. Since she's been cut off my daughter has been doing great, in school and at home, where as before I was concerned I would end up having to home school because of serious issues in class. Years of headache, stress, anxiety, and serious financial strain. I'm done.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 years ago from California

      I'd say, rather fortunately! I wouldn't wish it on anyone, Larry. Especially on you :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Always a joy to read you. Unfortunately, we again don't have any experiencial overlap:-(

      My kids don't have toxic grandparents.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 years ago from California


      you're right, I'm describing the same toxic individual. And while I had a glimmer of hope in the beginning, now our relationship is worse than ever. She's punishing us with silent treatment now. It's been weeks and I had a lot of time to think. I'm truly starting to believe that my daughter is better off without this type of grandma in her life.

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment and for stopping by, always a pleasure to hear from you! I know without a doubt that you are a wonderful mother and grandmother, your family is lucky to have you

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from UpstateWestern,New York

      Lana....EEK! The list for toxic grandparents is frightening but I am painfully aware they exist. I'm quite pleased to say in no uncertain terms, I've not ever experienced these poisonous individuals.

      My own grandparents, which we were fortunate to have even beyond our childhood were simply wonderful.....like the Fairy Godmother you mention.

      I'm also extremely happy to say that now, as a grandmother (in fact, GREAT grandchild #2 is on the way) I score 5 stars! That scoring by the way, would be from all 13 of my "babies" from age 26 down to 4 yr, old twins, as well as their Moms & Dads.

      I can't help but think that you're coming from the same situation involving the toxic mother-in-law you wrote of, not too long ago. I have no problem believing a nasty MIL would also be a nasty Grandparent. Miserable is miserable...all the time with just about everyone.

      A small part of me pities these witches but not too much. This sort of thing is all self-induced. They simply will never learn and never change. The LOSS is theirs!!

      I help & love & babysit & spoil & do what I can to be of assistance. Raising them is NOT my job, thank you, it's their parent's job. My comfort comes from knowing what totally wonderful, loving and responsible parents my own sons and their wives are. They need no info from Grandma & I don't offer unless asked. Even then I am ever so careful & respectful of their roles as parents.

      I can't understand what it takes for grown women who are finished raising their families to realize they need to butt out, shut up and just relax in grandma mode! It's an easy, comfortable thing to do.

      If my grandchildren were kept from me, I would shrivel up and die. I'm certainly not going to rock the boat!! Like I said, nasty witch-type grannies are the ones who suffer. It's a raw deal for the kids but as they mature, they will understand.. Paula

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      While I am sure many have had to deal with toxic grannies...I am thankful my children and grandchildren never had the experience.

      Bad granny!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      2 years ago from California

      Thank you Nell. I agree, a horrible person shouldn’t be a part of a child’s life.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      My son didn't even see his grandma, she was a horrible person. But my mum, his other one loved him to bits! some are good some are not, this was interesting!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      I'm so glad I can say that I never had any experience with this. I've had two wonderful mothers-in-law, and my own mother was so ill during my kid's growing up that she didn't interfere. Now, the kids' own toxic father was a different story. I certainly feel for any parent who has to go through this.

    • profile image

      Dabby Lyric 

      2 years ago


      Hi Lana, I feel ya on this 120% because this IS my life right now. I just wrote a Hub called Toxic In-Laws about my story.

      It hurts to be in this situation. My babygirl's b-day was yesterday and it was spent intimately with my hubby and me. It hurt because she turned 2 and there was no party for her this year. I'm on the outs with Mom-in-Law and a few others. We thought it inappropriate to have a party so we enjoyed her day peacefully!

      Thanks for this!

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      2 years ago from Chicago

      As adults we get to choose who we spend time with.

      Just because someone is blood related doesn't mean they get a "free pass" to upset you and disrupt your life.

      "Friends are the family you (choose)."

      There's nothing wrong with eliminating toxic people.

    • bluesradio profile image

      Marc Lee 

      2 years ago from Durham, NC

      Was fortunate to have awesome grandparents......

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Unfortunately for all of us there are disagreeable people in all of our lives. How we deal with them is a large part in how our children learn to deal with similar situations. We cannot protect our children from all negative things in life, we can only help them to try and understand why people do what they do or say. I have found that if I don't know how to try and remedy a negative person in my life that I feel is damaging a family relationship I visit our pastor and look for spiritual intervention. A lot of times having a person outside of the situation can truly help turn a negative into an positive.


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