From blog to book

I am following the advice of a friend who has just written her first book and collating all these blog posts and a few more topics together into a short book which I hope to put on Amazon as an e-book.

I wondered if you, my readers, had any other topics you would like to see addressed which I can add into the book and hopefully eventually put on here as a post.

I have written some material on specific narcissistic traits with examples from my dear MIL’s interactions with us, something about infantilisation of our spouses, something about denial. What else? I look forward to reading your suggestions, thanks for all your comments so far.



Filed under Communication problems in NPD, Controlling behaviour, Describing narcissism, diagnosing NPD, Effects of NPD on others, Examples of narcissistic behaviour, Helping your spouse deal with NPD mum, How NPD MIL affects a marriage, Manipulations, narcissistic mother, strategies for managing NPD MIL, Understanding narcissism

20 responses to “From blog to book

  1. Ganna Meyers

    Please address inapropriate gift giving!! My narcissistic mother in law has been a horror story. She is obsessed with my son and treatsme and my husband (her own son) like crap!! For my son’s first birthday, she sent an oversized canvas of him and her! How creepy is that?!? Should we send it back? Please give me advice on how to handle this one!

    • Thanks Ganna, I certainly can address the appropriateness of gifts as I have done a post on giving gifts with strings attached and it fits nicely in with that.

      I think your instincts around the gifts given to your son are spot on, instincts should always be listened to. Maybe discuss how you see it as inappropriate (as he can’t appreciate it at all) and ask if she would like to keep it for herself (seeing as it seems entirely for her benefit) and instead ask her to get him a suitable toy for him to play with?

      • Ganna Meyers

        That is a wonderful idea! I can word it “nicely” but it definitely needs to be hanging on her wall not ours! God forbid there are three other grandparents…she just expects an entire wall in her honor;)

  2. Anonymous

    I think exclusion is a topic to address. My family has been entirely excluded and shut out from holidays, events, etc. since MIL controls money, venues, sister’s family. Once sister’s family were visiting from out of state and MIL took sister’s kids (and not our’s who live in the state where park was visited) to a local amusement park for an overnight trip. Very sad and pathetic.

    • Ganna Meyers

      That is awful, I am so sorry you are dealing with that. My husband and I had to deal with my MIL pitting her side of thw family against us by slandering us and spreading lies. We felt very alone. Six months ago we decided we were going to embrace the positive people in our life like never before (spent special occasions with close friends and other family, invited them to our house for bbq’s, celebrated life with them on wknds, etc). Once my MIL’s side of the family saw this, they realized how toxic she was and Karma came back around…now she is alone in her misery and lies and is leaching her daughter for the only chance of support left. Stay strong my friend and come up with a plan to truly live your life well without this poisonous person!! I will pray for you!

  3. Alexa

    Hello FierceCorkWoman,

    Got ahead of myself there when I said you should think about publishing a book. (You are already considering it!)

    Here are some things I have noticed with narcissistic MILs.

    -They often attempt to turn their sons into surrogate spouses
    -But as you also mentioned, their is still infantilization of these adult sons
    -They feel a tremendous hostility to the DIL because they perceive their DIL as competition for their sons. The MIL almost subconsciously views her son as a husband. Therefore, the daughter in law takes on the role of the mistress or other woman
    -These MILs will fight tooth and nail to control everything about their sons and will often buy their adult sons clothing, cologne, and other personal items.
    -If they get a chance they will have their son divorce his wife and then attempt to take their grandchildren from their mom so they can raise them
    -They will proactively make up terrible lies about their daughter in law and spread these lies to the farthest reaches of the extended family so that the DIL has a new group of enemies that she has not even met.
    -The MIL will figure out how to cause subtle turmoil in her son’s marriage and every communication she has with him will contain the intent to turn him against his wife.
    -In most of society we think of men battering women when we talk of spousal abuse. But, when a wife has NPD she almost always emotionally batters her husband, aiming all of her constant vitriol at him. The FILs’ in these cases are many times shells of human beings due to years of abuse that they have suffered silently. After all, if they came forward, outsiders either would not believe him or would laugh at him.
    -If a MIL has NPD and her daughter in law isn’t aware of NPD, the DIL is at a tremendous disadvantage. She will spend years trying to have a harmonious relationship and will not understand why things are falling apart. The MIL will use this opportunity to make her DIL feel like she is going crazy. What’s worse, the DIL might believe it.

    • Hi Alexa, I have written sections on infantilisation, covert incest and the parentification/spousification of the sons of NPD mothers in my e-book version of this blog. I may well put some of it up as a post in the future. Thank you for your suggestions and for sharing your experiences.

  4. Anonymous

    Alexa, your final paragraph summed it up for me and the way I have felt for a LONG time when I didn’t know that my MIL has NPD. But now I have knowledge and blogs like this one are extremely helpful/insightful.

  5. Ganna Myers

    My narcissist mother in law has requested to see her grandson after we moved away from her evil ways a year ago. My husband told her she would have to agree on three major boundarie points before we would commit to going there. She agreed and “apologized” for some of the things she did. I don’t trust her. Is it normal to feel she is only agreeing and apologizing for hidded agendas?? Or is it possible for a clinical narcissist to change? She is 63 and has absolutely no friends….her daughter ( who is her flying monkey) is her only fan.

    • Oh my goodness yes it is normal to be suspicious. Please continue to be suspicious! This process of getting caught out, apologising and drawing you in then doing the whole thing all over again is called the abuse cycle. The at times grovelling apologies and pleading, simpering “don’t leave me” behaviour is called hoovering. She is sucking you back in. Someone with a personality disorder will not change without extensive psychotherapy over several years and a clear commitment spontaneously from them to change themselves.

    • Anonymous

      We uprooted our lives and moved hours away from NMIL, several years later we bought the whole “I am so sorry, please move back and it will be different.” STUPID, we bought it! We actually uprooted our lives again to move BACK! The abuse began ON THE WAY THERE (her and flying monkey FIL came to drive the kids and I while dh drove the moving truck) and it was worse than it ever was. Within a few years we had to move away again, never to return I can tell you that much! I know it’s a little too later for this but DON’T BUY IT!!!

  6. bls

    I do not know if you have more than the one post on “denial and your spouse” but I think it would be very helpful to read about this further. This can REALLY tear a marriage up if the child of the parent with NPD is unable to get out of denial. It leaves almost no option for the spouse trying to cope with the in-law that is being abusive if the spouse year after year will not recognize the truth of their parent’s actions and continues to justify and excuse abusive behavior simply because it is all they know.
    I think it would also be interesting to hear more information on the damage to the ability of the child of a parent with NPD to be intimate and close with their spouse. There is real damage done to their ability to be close to their own spouse when the understanding of love is so limited by the childhood spent being raised in this abuse.

    • bls thank you for your comment. You have touched on a couple of really sensitive and important issues. I am not sure what I could write to add to my post about denial. I think there is maybe more going on than just denial when facing a partner who is unable to see your point of view at all and consider the effect the MIL’s behaviour is having. I will have a think about it, I feel you are asking for more ideas on how to get through to them, is that right?

      Your second remark draws out some of what that “more going on” may be. The son or daughter of an NPD mother will have difficulties with intimacy and emotional support when their template of love and care is so inadequate. I can certainly relate to that! Have you read the post on attachment theory and your spouse? I will go and have a long think about what more I can write on this. I have tended to steer clear of discussing difficulties in relationships as it is such a sensitive subject but you are telling me there is a need out there to tackle some of that so I will. Thanks.

      • bls

        I guess most of the people who will read this will be the spouse of the child of a parent that has NPD or characteristics of NPD. That being the case it seems relevant and helpful to shed lots of light on the extreme conflict it can and does cause within the marriage. I guess I am an unlucky one but my husband has really struggled with denial and using denial as a coping mechanism to survive all his life with the NPD parenting style I understand. I also have been unlucky in that when we have approached his mother about behavior there has been no apologies given (it sounds like from your post about grandma and inappropriateness your mil has apologized). So perhaps my situation is more severe than your typical reader but the impact I am naturally most concerned with is the toll this has taken on my marriage. It is hard to trust and respect your husband when you see him cater and defend such abuse. I am also concerned and giving much thought to myself and what was broken within me to tolerate such lack of intimacy for so long. It is a fascinating and yet painful ordeal but I am determined that my marriage will heal and I am determined to protect my children from abusive behavior. After all the ability of someone that has fairly severe NPD to love is absent mostly and that affects everything in and around them. Thanks for your response and thought and any further writings on the effects to intimacy and marriage.

  7. t596

    I have a very odd situation in my family as I am the grandchild of an NPD grandmother, my mother’s mom. My mother was the “golden child” and her brother the “scapegoat”. His life was completely messed up and unfortunately things didn’t stop there. My mother had three children, 2 girls a year apart and then a boy 6 years later. From a very early age I was connected to my Grandmother at the hip. Around 9 or so the cycle of golden child and scapegoat again emerged with my sister and I, though I still believed I was the one my Grandmother liked the most. My mother and I were pitted against each other too and were constantly told lies about the other which led me to have little to no faith in my mother and only in my Grandmother. I also had my own anxiety and depression to deal with which made things easier for my Grandmother. A couple of years ago we began to realize what had happened to our family and my relationship with everyone. I guess the point I’m trying to make or what I would like to see addressed, is how to recover in this type of situation? How to rebuild a family when it actually wasn’t your mother with NPD but your Grandmother however your family life and self-image were ruined just the same?

    • t596

      I also just want to add that when I was growing up, adolescence and childhood, my mother displayed some NPD behaviors but when she realized what she was doing and/or how it affected me she make a solid effort to stop and no longer behaves that way. I had thought for a very long time that my relationship with my mother was beyond repair and after college we’d just go our separate ways. Fortunately, we managed to come together and work things out. However, after a number of years of peace and an incredible relationship between my mother and I occurring, I ended up moving close to my Grandmother. After that, things between my mother and I fell apart again and we’re trying once again to rebuild. I don’t think my mother had any insight as to what was happening or why this was occurring in her family during my adolescence and childhood either. My relationship with my sister is almost beyond repair but we’re pleasant when we have to be around each other. I think it was easy for my Grandmother to use this scapegoat, golden child template again for me and my sister just as she did with her own kids. NPD Gma is the engulfing type and gifts like crazy, overindulges others and has an intense case of martyr syndrome, she also pushes herself well beyond her physical limitations and gets upset if we tell her not to behave like this. It was so subtle always, and she seemed like such a saint that none of us in the family (except for my mother’s scapegoat brother, who moved across the country after college and never looked back because he was so shunned and hated by NPD Gma) ever saw it until a veil was lifted after my Grandfather died. I also think, since my mother was her golden child she was incredibly jealous of her and couldn’t let my mother have a decent relationship with me because we both had to love NPD Grandma more than each other. I had read about NPD mother’s a few years ago at the insistence of a friend who had known what my family life had been like and while I realized I sounded like a child that came out of that I realized that my mother didn’t have NPD. I couldn’t figure out what the problem then was and honestly, chalked it up to my sister. I’m fortunate that my mother and I are now seeing this about my Grandmother at the same time as she fell out of favor with NPD Gma after my Grandfather died and she befriended her brother again.

      Sorry this was so long but I haven’t seen any other blogs addressing this type of NPD Grandmother of the scapegoat child who’s mother was the golden child situation. Yours is the only one that seems to come close and my entire family is so messed up, I’d love some strategies and tips to repair.

      • Dolly Rocker, your mother was showing what is called “fleas”, traits and behaviours learnt from a disordered person and acted out in a non-disordered person just because they don’t know any better. The fact that she could see it hurt you and stopped doing it shows how much she must care about you. It is no easy job to break out of those sorts of ingrained patterns of behaviour.

        I think the deterioration in your relationship with your mother when you moved closer to your grandmother is understandable. Your mum’s unconscious fears about grandma would stir things up in her emotionally and she would find it hard not to start acting in the old patterns again. Also your grandmother would have had influence on you and stirred things without you realising it. It is so easy to be under the control of an arch manipulator and not see it, particularly in families. You have woken up to it though and that is a huge step in the right direction.

        NPD mothers will just repeat the same patterns on the next generation. The grandchildren will receive the same bizarre favouritism and antipathy as the children did. They know no other way of behaving. NPD mothers desperately need the golden child to be there for them so they can bask in their goodness, which in turn implies the mother is wonderful. The golden child is the ultimate source of narcissistic supply. When a grandchild arrives to distract the golden child from caring for NPD mummy then yes she will get very resentful of you for taking your mother away from her.

        Swapping from your mother to your uncle makes sense after your grandfather died. She is using him as a surrogate spouse I would think. He is now the man in her life and your mum is no longer needed all that much. What horrible thoughtless games get played in disordered families. I am sorry your sister is alienated form you. She is no doubt just as hurt by all this.

        Repairing the damage takes time, patience and love. Speak openly about the problem, share honestly how it hurt, cry together, hug and resolve to act differently. Do this often and the hurts will get less and less. Keep away from your disordered grandmother until you are strong enough to deflect all her manipulative nonsense. Martyr mums are hard to deal with because they are so untouchably saintly. As with all manipulations it is best to spot it and call it out for what it is “oh poor me” gets “are you trying to make me feel guilty and sorry for you? I don’t find that nice at all”, or “you sound unable to manage your emotions and responsibilities, I could suggest a good book on that”.

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