November 13, 2019

Is my mother a narcissist?

Janice Dick, 54

Is my mother a narcissist?

I’m 54 and still afraid of my mother. My family was dysfunctional. Alcoholism, violence, gambling and mental illness was everyday life.

I wrote this memory and realised I’ve always used humour to minimise my childhood trauma. I was the class clown, the punk rocker, dismissing my pain with a joke or saying ‘that’s just how it was back then’.

Recently, after another episode of my mother’s rage I decided to stop contact with her. I trawled through self-help videos, teary eyed, on YouTube and came across the subject of narcissistic mothers.

The information hit me like a thunderbolt.

The covert behaviour, the passive aggressive remarks, nothing ever good enough.

I left school without qualifications. When I was 30 I did an access course, which I completed and received an unconditional offer to study a BA in nursing studies. When I told my mum she replied, “Wouldn’t you be better doing part time in Asda?”

I founded a campaign against disability cuts, we picketed the Atos centre for 2 years until Atos left their contract, when I told my mum we won, she said, “Aye but you did it for your ego as well.”

Is My Mother a Narcissist?, 2019short story