Narcissus and Mommy - The Mother-Created Narcissist

Narcissus and Mommy - The Mother-Created Narcissist

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My narcissus had the strangest relationship with his mother and, in hindsight, I should have seen this as a warning sign. I read somewhere that how an individual treats their mother is often indicative of how they will treat you. I know that some mothers are narcissists themselves and, therefore, I think in many instances this is a poor standard by which to judge someone. My narcissist’s mother was probably not a narcissist, but she was an enabler and helped to create his narcissistic personality by never holding him accountable and blaming everyone but him for her beloved son’s woes and hardships.

I was with my narcissist for about four years before I ever met his family, since they lived about 1500 miles away. He would go, once per year, to visit them, and those visits were mostly a disaster. He would end up sleeping in a hotel room 40 miles away from the family homestead because of some slight. One year my narcissist’s dad didn’t cage his family dog the entire visit, and my narcissist took great homage to this. He hated all animals and accused his dad of loving his dog more than his grandkids. I was not there to see the specifics, but I remember thinking that the dynamics were strange. My narcissist had lived far away from his family for the past 20 years, and only once did they travel to see him. Their sole visit was when my narcissist received his PhD, which might be indicative that they, too, only cared about their child’s accomplishments and not their child – a trend that I saw with my narcissist and his children. In both instances, care and love seemed to be directly proportional to how much bragging rights the child gave to the parents.

Anyway, in 2021, the year we moved in together, my narcissist took me and my kids 1500 miles to see his family, and I got to meet Mother. I wrote off her awkwardness and rudeness as being the result of living 50 years away from all other humans. Their family ranch/ farm was 6 miles from the next homestead and a good hour from anything resembling a town. She and her husband raised my narcissist and his sister in this unconventional location, and, then, when the kids grew and moved away, the two of them stayed in the house, just the two of them, miles from the closest neighbor. Once a month or so, they would drive into town to go to Walmart. With this background in mind, I did not think too much of his mother’s weird way of talking and thinking. Heck, would anyone who spent 50 years away from civilization be up to date on trends or know what was acceptable versus unacceptable to discuss?

My narcissist’s mother and I got off to a bad start from the get-go.

I had never met or even spoken to my narcissist’s parents until this visit. My narcissist and his boys drove down earlier in the week and, my kids and I flew down. Our plane landed about midnight and, by the time we got to my narcissist’s parents' house, it was 2 am. The kids and I crashed and woke up at about 8 am. I called for my narcissist - nothing. I send a text - no response. So, I got up and crept out of the bedroom. His mom was sitting in the living room. After making our introductions and saying niceties, I asked where my narcissist was. She told me “I told him that he and the boys should go on a hike, they will be back by dinner time.” My jaw dropped. Here I was with my two little kids, in a trailer-sized house, miles from the nearest human, with his mother whom I had never met. I spent the next 10 hours trying to make small talk with someone I did not know and simultaneously watched that my kids didn’t get into any trouble or touch the 10000 plus things on the farm that could harm them. As the hours ticked away, the madder I got. How could he do this to me? Finally, my narcissist came home. When we had some privacy, I told him how hurt I had been that he would leave me all day with someone I didn’t know. I can still see the hate in his eyes as he walked out the door.

A few minutes later, his mom came into the bedroom screaming at me and accusing me of being jealous of ‘the boys.’ She made it out that I was mad that her dear son was spending time with his kids. I sat there shocked, embarrassed, outraged, betrayed. I could not believe that my narcissist, rather than taking accountability for his actions, would not only feel zero remorse but would try to triangulate his mother in our relationship. And I could not believe she would take his side and never even consider how awkward I might have felt that day.

The visit went downhill from there.

One thing that caught me off guard and seemed very odd to me was the fixation my narcissist’s mother had on his first wife, Prissy. She had absolutely nothing good to say about her – the mother of her grandchildren. She bragged about how she was on to Prissy’s ‘gay ways’ long before my narcissist knew. How did she know? Apparently, when my narcissist and Prissy joined the Peace Corps 25 years prior, they left their belongings on the family farm. What did mother do? She took this as a golden opportunity to go through all of their stuff and read Prissy’s diary. Something in the diary made his mother think that Prissy liked women. She didn’t bat an eye telling me about this, like she was the great Sherlock Holmes, rather than being embarrassed that she would invade her then-daughter-in-law’s privacy. I remember feeling taken aback by this. Throughout our visit, I was told time and again how my narcissist could have done way better than Prissy and how much they despised her. After 20 years of marriage and two kids, my narcissist’s parents would not allow Prissy on their property to pick up her belongings, they hated her that much.

Anyway, on our second summer trip to visit them, I stayed for the first week with my children. My narcissist and his children were planning to stay an additional week. One week was about all I could take. There were 8 of us in a small trailer-sized house with one bathroom, miles from the nearest human, and his mother was breathing down my throat at every turn. She would make one passive-aggressive comment after the next. I always remained cool and polite, but that week was one that I dreaded all year. 

I was never so glad when Saturday rolled around and it was time for me and the kiddos to go home.  My narcissist had been struggling with not drinking the entire time he was with his family since they drank in excess. There were seven refrigerators in their home, and half were full of beer. I was a little concerned about leaving him with this much temptation, but he was an adult and I had to trust him. I said my goodbyes, and off I went.

That night, my narcissist called me and said he was visiting his uncle and his phone might die so don’t expect to hear from him until the morning. My heart sank. I knew what ‘my phone is going to die’ meant from years of dealing with his alcoholism. It meant that he was going to go on a drinking bender and he didn’t want me to bother him. And he had his two kids with him, to boot. I panicked. I was so scared. I called him – nothing. I called him a few more times throughout the night – nothing. Finally, I texted his mom. She said that he was having fun with his friends and I should not bother him. 

I remember not sleeping at all that night. I knew he was getting drunk. I knew he had his boys with him and would drive. I knew that he was lying to me. I knew that he didn’t care one bit that just a few months earlier he had been arrested for physically assaulting me while drunk and promised to never drink again if I dropped the charges. I knew that he was ruining our marriage.

Frantic, I logged onto his computer to see if he might have told someone else where he was going and I might call him there. What I saw, I was not prepared for – half-naked pictures of a current and former student. My heart broke in half. I don’t think I have ever felt so belittled and degraded in my life. 

The next morning, he called me around 10 am ‘after his phone charged.’ I lost it on him. I was sick of his lies and excuses. I was tired of him compromising the lives of his kids. I was disheartened to think that our marriage and family meant nothing to him. I told him I was going to leave him when he got home. Again, rather than admitting to what he did – he ran to his mother. I still have the texts she sent me accusing me of ruining her son’s life and their time together. When I told her what he did, she said I was foolish to think that men would not look at pictures of women. She said there was nothing unethical about him looking at pictures of his students naked because “that’s just what men do.” She also said that in Texas people drink and drive all the time because it is safe to do so on back roads. 

This was the last time I ever spoke to his mother. A few months later, he was arrested for the second time for assaulting me. I heard through the grapevine that his mother blamed me. This was not surprising.

I asked my community online if they had similar experiences and, their responses really helped me to realize that I was not alone.

One person shared “My ex was emailing randos on Backpage/ Craigslist for sex ( women and men ) and she compared it to looking at ‘nudie mags’  like it was no big deal and totally normal.”

This was basically what my narcissist’s mother did to me – act like looking at pics of his students half-naked was akin to having a nudie magazine.

Another person observed that the narcissists they knew have had “ very creepy, high control, delusional, and nearly Oedipal relationship with their mothers.”

Perhaps the saddest response was from one woman whose ex-narcissist punched her in the face and, when his mother found out, her response was “What did YOU do to make him so mad?”  This last comment struck me hard. Imagine victim-blaming someone like this, but this is exactly what my narcissist’s mom did when she found out we were divorcing after he went to jail for the second time for physically assaulting me. 

Why would my narcissist’s mom never hold her child accountable?

I don’t understand how anyone could be this delusional. But I am sure that this is part of the reason why my narcissist is a narcissist. Growing up with a mother who never held you accountable and felt that everything was someone else’s fault would create a creature like my narcissist.

She can be so proud of her son – 47 years old living in a garage basement – arrested twice for physical abuse and the laughing stock of the town. That monster is hers to own, no longer mine to babysit. 




Thanks Brooke! Each visit was certainly surreal and hurtful.

Thanks Brooke! Each visit was certainly surreal and hurtful.



I’m so sorry that happened and I’m glad you got out of that.

I’m so sorry that happened and I’m glad you got out of that.

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