Is this narcissism?

I've been living on property shared between my mom, another relative and myself. As I've been discovering myself in recent months, I've stopped talking to her for the most part. Yesterday she broke a window accidentally and it automatically became my job to fix it. I was going to take care of it how I see fit since I'm the one doing it but, this morning she starts telling me what I should do about it. That quickly devolved into me telling her I don't give a shit. Once that was out she started with emotional tactics; oh I'm so hurt, why are you doing that.... All things I've heard before whenever I've asserted myself, so I just said blah blah blah. Again the situation devolved. Her tone instantly changes and now she just wants to directly hurt me "You're a selfish asshole just like X!". I ignored her and went on about getting some breakfast together. 15 minutes later I'm sitting in my room with the door ajar when she walks in trying to talk again and I just tell her to get out. She ignores me so I say it again louder and she ignores me again. Now I'm full on screaming "Get the F*** out of my room!" I stand up, walk towards the door and she finally backs up and out and I slam the door. She spends a few minutes trying to talk trash through the door and then goes away for a few minutes. She comes back and says something like "Don't scream and make me feel unsafe or I'll call the cops".

That is a play she borrowed from my grandmother. My grandmother would scream at my grandfather and physically abuse him and if he showed any resistance she would call the sheriffs and have him arrested for domestic abuse, even though she was the abuser. She threw pots and pans at him, trays of silverware, luggage, one time she even broke her cane over his back and he was still the one that got arrested. Now my mom is trying to play the victim because I won't tolerate what she's doing. She tried to say I had wasted my life. I told her I had, I had wasted it trying to help her so much over the years. Then she tried to talk shit about the state of my sister and I's lives and I immediately told her we were just products of her parenting.

She's quit, at least for now, but now I'm wondering how far she's going to take this.
I don't have a therapist, or the financial ability to begin seeing one. I have one close friend. We have common ground as this person also came from toxic beginnings, so they're very understanding and willing to let me talk when I really need to.

I've been trying to be my own therapist, mostly by way of reading and meditating. I tried journaling but it always feels frivolous and pointless. Last time I tried was a few weeks ago and I only managed three entries before I tore it up and tried to forget about it.

As I've gotten older my temper has actually improved. Obviously there's a lot of room for improvement still.

When I'm able to move I'll be going to an area that likely has more mental health opportunities. I'm basically in the woods right now and there aren't even group settings to attend nearby.

I'll make the effort to post at least once a day but I make no guarantee.


All we have to do is try. Just know you will be heard and supported. Even if it's weeks before you feel like sharing anything or simply to vent or talk about the traffic getting on your nerves.

Sounds like you are heading in the right direction. It all takes time and when we have no resources it makes it even harder. This is a hard complicated journey. Just reminding you you don't have to be alone. Thanks for replying.


Idk if this is helpful at all, but it is classically where arguments go to, both without boundaries, with lack of emotional regulation or flooding, and committing the easiest mistakes we all do at some points- digressing to attacks on the other ('You are (pejorative) ')- in other words contempt (superiority), criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling.

This may or may not help, some ideas: if she does this often: stay calm, and say, something like "you asked me to fix the window (even if she rather 'assumed' you would)). If you want me to fix it, you'll have to let me do it my way. If that doesn't work for you, you'll have to get someone else to fix it" (your boundary).

Then try very hard when things escalate to not contribute. The best is to catch it quickly. Go for the gentle start up (even if you're shouting- such as, "Wait, stop; Let's start over here!") And remember H.A.L.T.- are you/ her both hungry/ angry/tired/lonely? Correct that if possible first, or at least acknowledge it internally.

Try to look for the truth in her comments, even if it's a morsel. Try to find out what she's worried about or trying to control. Not by accusing her of that, but talking about what she's bringing up. Ask her open ended questions, and listen Recognize if her comments are triggering you, are you feeling ashamed, criticized, patronized, etc etc.

Lastly with stonewalling try to say, I need time to decompress from this, how about we talk in 20 min/ 1 hour/ tonight/ tomorrow, etc., Give a time.

Remember, you are adults. only do what you would do or say if you were in the presence of your own child, and setting an example for them.

If possible, try to foster a culture of appreciation. Look for the smallest things she does right. Start saying thank you (and noticing) for the small things that are right (she likely won't do the same, at least at first). Do it anyway. You deserve to live in peace and all will benefit.

Good luck to you.

ETA, oddly enough, arguments (or lack of) don't define whether a relationship will survive or thrive. What apparently determines it is the frequency and success of repairs. I can say, if you are all stressed out, there likely will be a lot more and a lot less repairs. Like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the basics will begin to consume. I know this because like men but unlike most women I become flooded. Equally, it's very easy to get in to resentments, overlooking any positives, taking a lot for granted, and a lot of bad blood. If you choose something different, and keep choosing, and it still doesn't work, you know you've tried. If you never change your reaction, and it's similar to hers, you will always end up cycling around.
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she sounds like my dad
who i call OG now cuz he's never been a 'dad'
taken me awhile to figure out but he's definitely a narcissistic asshole
and id say (your mom?) is too

acting victim
ignoring boundaries
making u feel like yer the crazy one who's handling their psycho situation inappropriately and they're just "trying to have a convo"
making stupid threats to get you back under their control

and your whole initial post made sense to me from A-Z

ive said the exact same shit to the OG
finally realized it's pointless... no worse than that- it plays right into his stupid game

so now, if the OG decides to tell me how to do shit i try to smile and say things like "yeh, of course, i will, okay" etc
and then i just do it my way anyways
or i wont reply at all and just keep on going about my own business

occasionally i'll ask him straight up "do you want to know because you're curious or because you want to insult me?" it seems to shut him up- he'll never admit he's trying to push buttons and being a dick

and he gets super pissed if i say "not your business" so that just plays into his game too

and im stuck in the same situation
cant move out........yet

i dunno
i just keep in my head "its his issue, not anything ive actually done" and that manages to keep me a little bit sane but i still fall for his crap sometimes


I don't think it's narcissism. It's poor impulse control. As @grief said it's recognisable because we're all a bit on the same boat on this one... Given the background of abusive situations she might well have PTSD too. It looks like. This immediacy and need of control. What you're describing is almost verbatim how it was with my stepdad and the relationship my ex had with his mother. And also the one I had with my ex.

If therapy isn't available, you can look into DBT, it's really great to slow things down. And also for charities that provide listening or counselling. Sometimes there are groups that do that too. It's possible to find therapists and ask them to set the price at something doable for you. Just someone in whom you find stability enough to hold on while you manage to get the f*ck out of there cuz as long as you're in a reenacting situation with your mother unaware of it, the carousel can keep happening on the same form over and over. It's quite a nature of abusive toxic or just unhealthy relationships, it's how cyclical and stalled they are.

But please keep writing and venting here. It helps. And you'll get responses of all sorts. That's the richness of this forum. That beyond being supportive, it also gently challenges stuff you think as "normal" because you've been bathing in it since so long.

I don't know if your mom is on the narc side as you need some form of grandiosity to fit it, but looking for control and afraid that she definitely looks. And the more scared you'll be of each other the worse it comes.

Hope that you find some support here.
Ugh at it again. At first we were going to sell the house, divvy the proceeds and go our separate ways. Then later she starts telling me If we take a loss it's coming out of your portion to which I quickly said no and went back to my day. A little later she comes back to me saying now they don't want to sell, this is her security, she wants to buy me out in payments. When I don't engage she just starts with the same old manipulations, first emotional appeal, then on to attempts at guilt, then on to anger/insults which turns into the bulk of her talking, because if I'm non-compliant even in a peaceful way then it's war! I had a headset on listening to something on the computer at this point but I could still hear her going on and on and on trying her absolute best to get a fingernail under my skin, to get some sort of reaction to leverage against me. By the time she shut up and went away I'm having an anxiety attack, dripping sweat, hearts racing, stomach hurts. Feeling so F*&*** depressed and angry now. Writing this out just 30 minutes or so after the fact and my thoughts are all hazy. She wrote me an email with the payment proposition, but even in text she couldn't refrain from insulting/browbeating me. What an unreal day.