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Estrangement

Narcissistic adult children

(184 Posts)
craftyone Wed 19-Jun-19 10:03:43

I am trying to uderstand my AD, to learn coping mechanisms for myself. A good video, definitely helping me

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF2k_7eplJg

EllanVannin Wed 19-Jun-19 11:42:40

They are just damned awful people who I'd personally keep at arms length.

Smileless2012 Wed 19-Jun-19 11:55:33

I agree EllanVannin but of course it's so much harder to do when it's your own AC.

Our ES's wife is narcissistic and that's resulted in us being estranged from him and our only GC for 6.5 years. Despite the pain of our loss we're thankful that we no longer have to deal with her crap and poison.

Teacheranne Wed 19-Jun-19 11:56:41

I first heard the use of the word narcissistic many years ago when studying for a masters degree in teaching autistic children in a mainstream school. It has now appeared in fairly common usage which surprises me as it is a very rare personality disorder.

It's possibly like the word autism which many people incorrectly use to describe anyone with slightly awkward traits.

Such things interest me!

Gonegirl Wed 19-Jun-19 12:02:37

Maybe it's the narcissistic children that should watch the video.

Surely, if they have that as a personality, they have it from day 1. So the parents should be pointing this out to them all the way. And certainly as they grow, they should be able to understand this and recognise their behaviour for what it is. And, therefore, deal with it. Or at least try.

Smileless2012 Wed 19-Jun-19 12:03:30

If only it were rare Teachernanne there wouldn't be so many cases of estrangement. It really does seem to be on the increase although goodness knows why.

I can assure you that our d.i.l.'s behaviour could never be described as "slightly awkward traits".

Gonegirl Wed 19-Jun-19 12:05:11

Are you sure they're not just naturally bitchy Smileless? Just to the people they are jealous of? To everyone else they may be just fine.

Gonegirl Wed 19-Jun-19 12:06:26

Well, as you can see, I blame the parents. shock Either from the genes point of view or from the upbringing.

Teacheranne Wed 19-Jun-19 12:11:21

Smileless2012, I was not implying that your DIL was slightly awkward, that was in reference to the overuse of the word autistic. Only the other day someone on the radio said that most men has autistic traits - just because her partner did not agree with everything she said!

Apologies if you took my comment in that way, I'm sure you have a genuine concern about your DIL.

Smileless2012 Wed 19-Jun-19 12:24:00

Oh yes Teachername definitely a miss use of the term in that examplesmile.

Well our ES's wife appears to be fine until she decides she no longer wants or needs you around Gonegirl. She has a history of this with her own P's and extended family members as well as friends.

With her P's and some extended family members, she severs contact, then resumes contact, then severs it and on it goes.

With us for which we are grateful, there's been no suggestion that she would ever want anything to do with us again. Which despite resulting in our estrangement with our son and only GC, is the better option for us.

But yes, I'd also agree that she's naturally bitchy.

Debcz Wed 19-Jun-19 14:15:46

I think this is definitely what I’m dealing with too smileless! Just can’t decide whether it’s both of them or just SIL.
D has always been quite self centred, but it’s only now it seems to have gotten this bad.

Debcz Wed 19-Jun-19 14:18:14

I guess we put her self centred ness down to her deafness

EllanVannin Wed 19-Jun-19 14:29:24

I'm inclined to go along with Gonegirl, genetic or upbringing.
Narcissism creates so many problems both for the sufferer as it's a mental health issue and also for families who have to endure the obnoxious behaviour.

Debcz Wed 19-Jun-19 17:19:27

I don’t think it’s upbringing..
My other children are not like it at all.
Pretty sure they were treated the same,

TwoSlicesOfCake Wed 19-Jun-19 23:48:42

Totally agree. Narcissistic adult children are the worst. It’s best to leave them and their families alone.
Instead focus on living a fun and full life of your own.
Everyone wins smile

craftyone Thu 20-Jun-19 07:36:05

my AC is not nasty or violent, covert is the word I would use. I did get a response yesterday, some advice in a youtube video was to go down `the right thing to do` tack. I did that in a very short matter of fact e mail about my gd. Her (GD) right to have a relationship with her nan. The first decent response from AD for a long time. That is how I am going to follow through. Now I sit with no contact and wait. There might be a result in the school holidays, there might not be but now AD has in her head that contact between GD and nan is the right thing

I don`t like this tactical stuff but if it works then so be it. My other 2 AC are warm and loving as am I. AD I have an issue with was born with cord around her neck, I often wonder if it was that, to make her wired so differently

Smileless2012 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:17:48

That does sound hopeful craftyone. Keeping everything crossed that you get to see your GD.

craftyone Thu 20-Jun-19 09:51:49

yes smileless, I was hopeful last night but I am realistic and am not expecting anything much. I did hear that GD did receive my card and present so the reply was just a bit more response than I was hoping for. In the meantime I switch myself off and just get on with life, keeping my own sanity intact

Starlady Thu 20-Jun-19 22:40:26

Good news, craftyone! It sounds as if AD is softening. But I think you're wise to proceed w/ caution.

The problem w/ the "narcissist" description, IMO, is that the term gets bandied about so much today. NOT accusing anyone here of doing that, just speaking in general. In fact, I think it was mentioned on another thread that if you look at Mumsnet, many of the women there refer to their estranged mums or MILs, etc. as "narcissists." Sometimes they say they went NC for that reason.

Maybe that's true in some cases, but that word does get used a lot. I think we have to think carefully before we conclude that a DD/DIL/DM/MIL/whoever is a narcissist.

Starlady Thu 20-Jun-19 22:44:10

Wait... Deb... I thought you had concluded that this was definitely about your D.

Also, D is deaf? I didn't know that. Very sorry. What would that have to do with her being "self-centered" though? Does it interfere with your communication with her? Or??

GracesGranMK3 Fri 21-Jun-19 07:49:01

Didn't we once call these people selfish or self-centred. Who diagnoses them?

M0nica Fri 21-Jun-19 08:12:00

So some people have children/parents/grandparents/in-laws/friends/relatives who seem selfish and self-centred and their attitudes and their views are different from ours.

A good reason to end the relationship in some cases, make it less close in others. But why do the people doing the cutting feel the need to hide behind the excuse that the offending person is narcissistic. As another poster said. Narcissism is a rare mental problem.

We all negotiate our relationships both familial and personal and stay close or distance ourselves from friends and family based on how well we get on. In my own family there have been members who are less or more engaged based on how they get on with parents, siblings and children. One side of my family do a good line in drama queens, which can be irritating at times..

So moderate your relationship with your daughter in line with how her behaviour impacts you. Then get on with life but do not claim she has that or this psychiatric condition that you have diagnosed, not a psychologist or psychiatrist, just to justfy your action.

If the relationship is difficult and you manage it by not seeing her too much, that is justification in itself.

GoodMama Fri 21-Jun-19 15:47:21

It’s very sad, the epidemic of narcissism. We see it often with both AC and their parents.

Truthfully, I doubt many of them are narcissistic. Like the video says, narcissistic is who they are and who they have always been. In all relationships and in all avenues of their life.

AC who don’t have very good communication skills so they butcher communicating their plan to live their lives, making their own decisions and not have to defend themselves to their parents.

And those parents who just want to enjoy their AC who they put so much time and energy in to raising. But they struggle to make the transition from parent raising a child to parent with a peer relationship with their child.

Then throw the next generation in and all falls to pieces!

Parents want to raise their own children, with the lessons from their own life experience and their own desires for their family. And the grandparents want the AC to raise their children like they were raised. They get offended when their AC do things differently. They want to participate in all the parenting joys and private family moments because they just remember them so fondly when they were young parents. But they forget those moments aren’t their any more.

So everyone blames the other. Everyone claims the other is a narcissist. When in reality, as the visor says, everyone is just being a little selfish (as we humans are) and no one communicates and no one wants to give an inch.

Then the AC finally realize this is their only chance to raise their family and their parents are making is miserable for them. And since none of them can communicate, the AC say enough is enough. And shut their parents out in a desperate attempt to enjoy their own family. And their parents are heartbroken, angry and more determined than ever to get the AC “in line” so they can fall back into the comfortable role of parent.

Usually a fantastic mess it turns out to be.

Smileless2012 Fri 21-Jun-19 18:41:07

Narcissists aren't just selfish and self centered. They are controlling, manipulative and emotionally abusive.

When they decide for eg. that they don't want their partners parents and other family members around, through lies and the manipulation of their partner, they gradually undermine those relationships.

As with all abusive relationships they seek to prevent the influence of others who may see the relationship as less than healthy, and be prepared to voice their concerns out of concern for their AC.

Friendships made years ago in childhood are similarly treated.

Our ES is married to a narcissist whose own family including her parents have been treated to the never ending game of contact one minute and non contact the next.

He comes from a large and loving family and the only family member he has any contact with is his brother, and even that is sparse.

Our DS lives on the other side of the world so any possible influence is pretty insignificant which is without doubt why they remain in contact. DS is a safe distance away.

craftyone Sat 22-Jun-19 10:10:40

smileless, oh that made me suddenly see the Meghan situation, what you said

re my own AD as expected no follow up to my e mail which was in response to her e mail. She has never given me her new mobile or landline numbers, if she ever rings then it is from her mobile with `number witheld` so I can never ring her. I was not expecting a response so remain neutral and in balance with myself. It was AS who has much insight, who taught me about this psychology. I refused to take it in for quite a while and then things added up and he is right

So the brain wiring is different, could not be anything else, she was treated exactly the same as the others and we are a close, kind and loving family. She became worse after my husband died. AS says this is likely because of guilt as she treated him the same way as me but to a lesser degree than now