Sons of Narcissistic Mothers by Gail Meyers

This is in honor of my late brother, the son of a narcissistic personality disordered mother.  It is in honor of his memory, as well as to inform those who so easily dismiss sons of narcissistic mothers as not enduring the wrath of a narcissist mother as severely as daughters do.  I beg to differ with you.

My brother had a heart of gold and deeply loved his family.  He was the kind of man who would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it.  He was known for his heart of gold.  It was his biggest asset.  It may also have been his biggest downfall, second only to his own mother.

My late brother was taken from us only months after our narcissistic mother died.  Their deaths stand in as stark of contrast as their hearts.  She was completely self-centered, immature, manipulative and dishonest, but masqueraded as a selfless saint.  He was known for his heart of gold, but ostracized and disrespected by his entire extended family of origins based on her slander.

She was terminally ill, surrounded by family and friends the last years of her life.  In true narcissist style, she demanded 24/7 care from her adult daughters while refusing to allow the assistance of hospice.  When he attempted to visit his dying mother, her flying monkey relatives harassed him.  Some so ignorant or deceived as to actually say to a man watching his mother die that his tears must be because he is consumed with guilt over the way he treated her.*  Only weeks before her death, his own mother told him to go home if he was going to cry at her bedside.  He died a few months later in extreme emotional torment, ostracized as a result of her slander.

A few months after her death his marriage of more than a decade ended.  He was not invited to what would be his last family Thanksgiving because the golden child youngest son would not attend if he attended.  I am sure I do not need to explain to anyone reading this blog how that came about between two sons of a narcissistic mother - a scapegoat older brother who stood up to his mother's deceit and a golden child younger brother who has no idea he lives in the narcissist's rabbit hole.

She went to extraordinary lengths to divide her five adult children between the oldest scapegoat children who had sought therapy and saw through her and the younger children who still believed the facade.  Of course, the younger adult sons and daughters believe it is all the older scapegoated siblings and would certainly never entertain the idea that their mother was mentally ill.

Revenge of a Narcissist

I was raised in some strange combination of the hero and the scapegoat of my dysfunctional family of origin, but definitely became the scapegoat when I revealed the sexual abuse shortly after leaving home.  However, my brother became a scapegoat as the result of confronting our mother.  He saw through her before anyone else did and he called her on it when he was 19 years old.  It was then that I entered sexual abuse therapy and the abuse became known outside of the family.  He told her he knew she knew, but did not protect me.  That confrontation was 20 years prior to the year they both passed away.

He would also confront her when she was rude to his wife, caught her in a lie, etc.  She literally spent the next 20 years, right up until her death, taking him down.  She never physically harmed him.  She destroyed him with invalidation, gaslighting, slanderous gossip - playing the victim while vilifying the true victim.  By the time she died she had everyone in the entire extended family believing she was trying to help him but he was crazy and treated her so badly.  He treated her so badly, but she hung in there because that's just the kind of selfless, martyred mother she was!  Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Healing for Sons of Narcissistic Mothers

I am uncertain where this idea came from that narcissistic mothers are not as abusive to the sons as they are the daughters, but some of this is further alienating the sons in the process.  My late brother passed before his 40th birthday, alone and ostracized.  He had a therapist and firm boundaries, too.  However, narcissistic mothers will destroy anyone who gets in their way.  The sex of the child matters not to the predatory, destructive narcissistic mother in her seething revenge or abuse tactics. 

The mother may not be jealous of the son, physically comparing him to herself as she might a daughter.  Just don't let that fool you into thinking the sons necessarily have it easier.  A narcissistic mother has many, many other things to be jealous of or enraged about besides just physical looks as compared to her daughter, jealousy regarding the father-daughter relationship, etc.

In addition, be it societal norms or a stereotype, overall it still seems to me that it is more difficult for a man to reach out for help than it is a woman.  I certainly would not want a son of a narcissistic mother to attempt to reach out only to be met with the attitude that he has not really suffered as much as his sisters!

My brother suffered enormously!  He struggled with many adult child issues, including panic attacks mediated with massive doses of Xanax, marijuana and alcohol addictions, fibromyalgia, and anger control issues.  She had everyone convinced she was trying to help him while she was actually destroying him.  She pulled the same routine on me regarding my sexual abuse.  In addition to the extended family flying monkeys, he was the oldest son, but the golden child youngest son was raised to loathe and disrespect him lest the golden boy ever learn the truth about his mother.

Virtually everything written on this blog as a daughter of a narcissistic mother, with the exception of the gender specific jealousy, can also apply to the son of a narcissistic mother.  I strongly encourage other adult daughter bloggers, as well as the profession as a whole, to reach out to the sons too!  These men in no way emerge unscathed from the abuse of a narcissistic personality disordered mother!

*It has been my experience that flying monkeys often have a vested interest in being flying monkeys - abusers themselves, narcissistic traits or behaviors of their own, fear of being ostracized if they stand up for the truth, weak character unable to stand against the herd mentality, still in denial themselves, etc.  Then, I think there are flying monkeys who are truly deceived by the narcissist and have no idea of the harm they are inflicting.


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