It’s Narcissist Friday!
(I am aware that this blog continually attracts new readers. With somewhere around two hundred posts on narcissism and narcissistic relationships, it can be challenging for anyone to really use this material. The search function works very well, if you know what to ask for. Otherwise, we will all have to wait as the blog posts are sorted and categorized in preparation for a new (and exciting!) website. So for the next few weeks, I want to dig back into the archives to pull out some of the posts that seemed most helpful over the last few years. Please feel free to comment.)
Okay, I may be the last person in the US to watch the Avatar movie. I watched it last week. No particular comments on the movie. But there was one thing that stood out and I think I will remember for a long time. When the people wanted to communicate real connection, they said, “I see you.”
A couple of weeks ago I had an encounter with one of the narcissists in my life. I have to limit the details because I don’t even want to come close to identifying him. I was visiting with two friends when the narcissist came up to me (most likely to see why I was there—this was his turf). He put his hand on my shoulder and I turned and we exchanged greetings. So far, so good. It lasted about a minute. After very brief conversation, he began to berate the two friends with whom I had been speaking. He spoke so negatively about them that I was afraid of what they would think. Apparently they were (or pretended to be) in conversation themselves and didn’t hear what he said.
Now, the narcissist couldn’t have missed the fact that someone was standing with me. He should have known them by name and position. The only thing I can figure out is that he simply didn’t see them as anything important to him at the moment. After his statements, he looked up at the clock and said that it was slow. Then he walked away without a further word to me.
So, what happened? He didn’t see them; at least not in the sense the Avatar movie uses the phrase. Because his mind was on what he was saying, because he was positioning and preening, because he didn’t know if I was still a threat to him, he didn’t pay any attention to the people standing nearest to him. He sent the same message to me when he walked away without finishing the conversation. Once his little purpose was over, he moved on to the next opportunity to make himself look important.
You say, Dave, didn’t you try to defend your friends? Didn’t you try to fix the situation? Nope. As I often am around narcissists, I was dumbfounded. What had happened was so far from anything I saw as normal that it took me a few moments to understand it. By that time, the opportunity had passed.
This is what the narcissist is like. Others are not important until they are important to him. He simply doesn’t see them.
34 responses to “I see you!”
You hit this nail on the proverbial head! I, too, have narcissists in my life, and I have the same dumbfounded reaction to the things they say. They’re so bold and cruel and selfish, that you watch in disbelief as they walk away. You just can’t believe a human being would be so rude, so cold.
I just discovered your blog, so I’ll be reading past posts and stay up to date on future ones. So keep ’em coming.
As I was reading this, I actually chucked a bit and shook my head. You could have been describing my narcissist. Let me offer an example of his view of himself.
We ran into an old friend of MINE…emphasis intentional…I hadn’t seen this friend in years and would love to have spent some time chatting and catching up. However, my narcissist, who prides himself in knowing everyone and thinking everyone is more HIS friend, monopolized the conversation to the point that I simply smiled at my friend, gave a wave and walked off. What’s even more interesting, is when I am in this situation (yes, it happens all the time) and I am trying to speak with my friend, my narcissist will interrupt and try to speak over me to gain control of the conversation. The rudeness is unbelievable……
This self importance and ability to completely disregard me and the value of my friendships with others still blows me away at times.
I read this again today, after pondering the events over the weekend at the memorial for Dr. Hendricks. Sure enough–the Ns did not “see” me (2 of them looked right at me, or rather thru me, b/c after all, I am not “real”) but they all posted fotos of themselves later to make sure that THEY were seen. Then one made a comment that others probably missed, but it was one of those “N moments” that leave you speechless b/c it is so blatantly obvious. This person had to be perfect, and the rest of us were tools to be used. I got in the way of that, and the lack of empathy (and the blaming) was stunning. It’s so clear to me now. Scapegoat again, for Pastor A…… But I am so glad that I “got it”. I saw the deception, i was no longer fooled. Your blog has helped so much, especially when I need a “reality check” and no one is around!
It really does help to be able to put this into words, doesn’t it? Otherwise we might fall into the trap of fear or rejection again. I saw the N I wrote about above the other day. He was almost angry when he saw me. I am finally at the point where I think this is funny. Believe me, it has taken years.
Why is it that those in “ministry” seem to “minister” only to each other? Is it just me? Do others feel that exclusion (actually,you rightly identified it as rejection) of those who have “serve” but are not “ordained”? I am noticing it more and more, even from missionaries who want donations but not relationships. Am i nuts?
I suppose the answer is both a sense of camaraderie and elitism. The narcissists, of course, only pay attention to those who can benefit them in some way. There is a feeling that only those who are in ministry (paid, vocational, full-time) can really understand what ministry is like. I do understand that one, having been on the receiving end of “advice” from people who wanted to tell me how to do my job and accusing me of using the church for my own gain. Sometimes the stress drives people to an inner core of safe people. However, you have seen something different. Like missionaries who want donations, rather than relationships, many in ministry see people as pewsitters, givers, and workers – not as people. It is why so many senior pastors no longer do anything related to people. They manage staff and preach. Keep the people away. Just tell them to give more. Ok, a little sarcasm. 😉
Yaayyy you 😉
I often found myself asking, “What just happened?” after volatile exchanges with my narcissistic ex-boyfriend. His actions/attitudes/words were often so absurd to me, that I could barely believe what I had experienced. Two friends who I’ve told about his antics have literally asked me, “Is there something wrong with him? I mean, seriously, like mentally?” “Offenses” that most people would just brush off without a thought evoked anger and harshness.
It always puzzled me…he was the one who was convinced he wanted to marry me, and although I was the one who needed persuading, it seemed as though he still expected ME to fulfill HIS wants/needs/wishes, but mine were not as important, if they carried any weight at all. I was so confused all the time…why does this guy say he loves me and then treats me like dirt (and not that he treated me that way all the time, but for the most part, I could never truly relax and feel safe emotionally)? It was finally seeking an answer to that question that led me to this blog, and I am not puzzled any more, so thank you for shedding light on this subject.
Cecilia Kineely, you just described my N too! This has been a safe haven for me and I hope it will be for you. Welcome!!!
Thank you, UnForsaken! That is a good description of this blog – a Safe Haven. Yes, it has definitely been that for me, too, since I came here just recently, and I have visited pretty much every day since. Been trying to catch up on all the Narcissist archives. It is fascinating, and has been a tremendous help in my healing, as I can see it has been for many others.
I’ve been thinking about how many cases there must be of this, and how victims of narcissists can’t go to the police when there’s no physical abuse, but we feel ravaged and abused just the same. We can’t prove abuse, and there is no law against emotional/verbal abuse/manipulation, so we have no recourse for justice/protection, except to get out, but for those who are married to the narcissists – especially Christians – that’s a lot harder to do, I’m sure.
CK, I read the archives but have a bad memory….Gotta do it again!(Yea 🙂 )
So glad you have friends who saw what he really was. My N only does it at home, and it makes me wonder there was a reasonable exp. ! But I always begin to laugh at myself for giving him the benefit of doubt , when I remember what you say about making major things into minor , and minor things into major . Right on! It’s all very twisted and warped thinking and we have to learn not to fall for it!
My N is a relation, but I still have troubles with saying “no” and have to think creatively to get away with a phrase that sounds like it! But we have to make our own choices with God’s help. Sooo glad yours was made easier by a definative break!
Cecilia, you are so right, hat feeling of “what happened”. As Dave says, it takes years to get to grips with this one. I think it is because we would not behave so badly towards anyone, even in retaliation, that it leaves us totally unarmed, there are no responses to this kind of behaviour, in order to remain sane you just have to walk away. You are blessed that you did not marry this person. You are very right that it is much more difficult to part from such a person in the context of a Christian marriage. That is my situation and after 22 years and four children I am in the process of a divorce I do not want. But now is the time for safety, for me and the children.
Hope you are enjoying the posts and the community here!
I agree 100% with all the comments. I, myself just broke a relationship with one of the most narcissistic man I ever knew and I discovered that he has this disorder just recently. After thinking and asking what did I do wrong for this person to discarded me as a used shoes. I met him, I was a Christian and he wasn’t. During the first few months he treated me as queen and I introduced him to church. He became a Christian, then I discovered I was pregnant. (Yes, I made a big mistake) When he found out that he no longer will have the focus of the attention, he left me, abandoned me and my baby. He continue going to the church and put everybody again me, making himself look like victim, martyr of all the situation (he cries often to call the attention of others) I didn’t know what happened, but now God has opened my eyes and showed me that I would never change this person. I only can pray for him and ask God touches his heart that he will not damage anybody as bad as he did with me with his selfishness and self-centered way.
I hope this blog help people to deal with this destructive behavior that so many people have. Unfortunately, if the N doesn’t realize he suffers from this disorder, he will never search for help (in their mind, there is nothing wrong with them, they are perfect and everybody around is wrong)
God helps these people to learn that is better serve than be served. Love others brings much more satisfaction that anything else.
Cecilia,your story is all too familiar. Publicly I was an answer to prayer,early in the relationship I thought I’d hit the jackpot-he loved me,talked about spending our lives together. After short time if had any thoughts of my own they were dismissed with a snide “whatever you say.” Punishing me like a child-.(his kids avoid him/contact by text only)yelling etc.if he didn’t like something I said or did.Didn’t have a good word to say about my family,friends or even my church. If we had a date and he wanted to ‘ditch’ me he’d go home saying he was ‘VERY ILL.’-just to find out he’d been out to a nice dinner and riding his motorcycle,both of which I like to do-while I sat home alone concerned about his ‘illness.’My self esteem(already fragile)was tied to his opinion of me-my weakness.I COULDN’T do ANYTHING right ! Until I found out about narcissism (through a counselor) I felt I couldn’t be loved or even liked so I stayed far too long in a ‘sick’ relationship.Still hurting and very damaged-I PRAY for healing(both mine and his-if he ever chooses it)and count as a blessing this site and the people on it. Thank you to all those here for sharing your experiences and your support. Stay strong and visit here often Cecilia!!
HDG – I am so sorry for your experience and the resulting damage and pain you’re in. It’s so interesting to see the different manifestations of narcissists. For instance, my ex never expressed disapproval about my family or my friends (until I started rooming with an older woman who became a close friend), and he was supportive of my talents and interests – as in, he did offer what seemed to be genuine praise for those things.
But I began to see his controlling nature when he would try to tell me how to do menial tasks, such as making a sandwich wrap, and if I showed resistance, he would insist that he was right. He also once talked about me joining an organization with him without asking me if I even wanted to join. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, he became absolutely belligerent about a couple of my habits that he disapproved of, which to me were not a big deal. He seemed to major on the minors and minor on the majors.
In our last go around, I truly thought I saw improvement…I was telling my friends that I saw a genuinely different spirit in him…he seemed more relaxed and gentler, more understanding…I even indicated to him that I was ready to marry him…I thank the Lord that He spared me what would have been a huge mistake! After I had the audacity one evening to postpone a phone call to him (by a couple of hours) in order to go out to dinner with my roommate, he gave me an ultimatum – “It’s her or me!” That might’ve been the easiest choice I’ve ever had to make.
5 break-ups.Each time he came back sweeter and more loving than before,telling me how our time apart left him brokenhearted and physically ill. “God wants us together and YOU’RE allowing Satan to ruin it.”That lasted until he had me ‘back ‘then it all returned to the same ugly abusive cruel pattern. He even yelled “there is no excuse for not greeting me properly”(drop whatever you’re doing give him a hug&kiss)when I was feeding some baby squirrels and said “I’ll be right there honey.Jealous of baby squirrels???? Like you, I thank the Lord I said ” no, not to anyone anytime soon” when he asked about marriage.He then launched into a list of my faults and wrongs against him. I had enough and told him so-1/2 hour later he was on facebook cruising for other women.So much for the devoted love of a Narcissist! My prayers were answered-not the way I’d thought- but a much better way-the way the Lord had planned.” Prayers…
HDG–something you said just really struck a chord with me.
Elsewhere I’ve written about the difficult relationship I have had with a friend who has also suffered abuse, and the harm his family has done to me in order to keep control over their image. Some months ago, the mother was pursuing me as if she was supposed to take over the friendship. (She takes whatever she wants–and always gets her way; she even once took his car just because she liked it, even though that left him without one and meant she had three! To my knowledge, she still has all three.) But she had come to my house to claim my friendship, and we have nothing in common except our gender. And after she had stayed for a long time, she got up to leave and she took both my hands and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Don’t let Satan take this away.”
I felt my blood run cold. I have a deep personal relationship with Christ, and it has been muddied for me with all the abuse and legalism and how little I understand about why things needed to happen again. But I felt my blood chill to my bones when she said that, like she thought I was linked to Satan, and he and I were the only thing standing between me and her as best friends. I don’t talk with Satan. I don’t plan out my course with Satan. It was such a strange and manipulative thing to say, and only serving her anyway. Is that a typical tactic for control among those who claim Christ but want to entrap others into their own plans?
I’m new at reading this blog and I haven’t worked through all the archives yet. I was unaware of I See You until some new comments were posted. So glad I checked this blog!
Yes, sometimes they say something — and you are speechless!! You are just totally taken by surprise. I mean, how could anyone say THAT??? LOL
My wonderful husband was dying and had not yet turned 49. We have 2 children. His parents lived out of state. His father called one day and said “We are coming this weekend.” I explained that this was not a good weekend as it was our daughter’s senior prom night, and we had promised that all attention would be on her, barring any medical emergency. It was also the night I was to disconnect my husband’s home-chemo and wash his port out with heparin.
His father was Angry!! He repeated “We ARE coming this weekend.” (We meaning he, my husband’s mom, and my husband’s sister). Again, I asked him to wait for the following weekend. His tone became much sterner and louder, and he said “We ARE coming THIS weekend.”
I gave up. Sure, fine. Do whatever you want to do.
So they came. And I’m running around, taking my daughter for her hair, picking up the boutonnaire for her date, helping her with her dress.
And as I walked past my husband’s parents and sister on the couch, his dad said “Oh, we know you’re busy. We’ll wait for our dinner.”
What I wish I had said!!!!!!!!
I don’t know what you were thinking of saying. It really wouldn’t have mattered anyway.N’s only hear their own voice unless of course you’re singing their praises. What does matter is the emotional and physical stress caused by keeping” your head down and your mouth shut.” I know this from experience. I hope you are doing ok….
HDG, Kathy , a hug for each of you . Why is this kind of thing so much worse at the hard times?! One of my aunts bullied my mom before her dad passed away. She was sick and had already said her good-byes, but the aunt wanted her to come and hold Her hand. The only way to get rid of her was for someone healthier to get on the phone and tell her ” NO”! The funeral was uncomforable but my sister ( who had said the “no”) didn’t go because she was sick. We were in the doghouse, but now that aunt acts like nothing happened!
Yes, Do take care of yourselves . It’s just not worth stressing over…although it can be impossible to avoid stress . Sometimes I find aromatherapy helpful, a hot bath , prayer, etc. but there is no quick fix. Relying on the Father is something I’m still learning every day . After all, He will turn all things to our good , even evil. I look forward to the day in heaven when I can more easily see what He has done!
I really haven’t a clue as to that I would have/ should have said. My husband and I both tried very often to set boundaries, enforce boundaries. That only seemed to bring out the worst in my in-laws. But I wasn’t being mean. It never occurred to me that I wasn’t allowed to say “Gee, I just had a C-section. I couldn’t possibly have 4 houseguests at this time.” I thought that was a normal thing to say. If someone said that to me, I would have replied “Gee, I’m so sorry I invited myself. I wasn’t thinking. We’ll do it another time.” But yes, they did hear me. What they heard was that someone had the audacity to say No. It took a pattern before I realized that there was something very wrong with these people.
Now my wonderful husband is gone. I had to cut my in-laws off because I could not emotionally handle any more “well, you can always get another husband. I’ll never have 3 brothers again.” and I most definitely could not handle how they expected my 18 and 12 year old children to serve them, have compassion on them, and none shown to the fatherless. I couldn’t even cut them off without nasty messages left on the internet or nasty emails or even re-writing my emails and forwarding them to other people.
talk about being kicked when you’re down!!!
But God has been and will always be faithful. It still hurts me that they never recognized my husband is gone, my children’s dad is gone.
So I think they do hear you — but they take the setting of boundaries as a challenge, not as a healthy request. And that’s painful.
Kathy–I also welcome to the site. I am so very sorry about the loss of your husband and the pain of a family that is clueless. So many of us here on this blog totally, completely, thoroughly understand that the N-enmeshed family has empathy for themselves but never for you. Whatever little empathy or compassion they may possess is lavished on themselves, not you or your children:
You have also unwittingly yet brilliantly identified the best “narcissist-detector” of all time: saying “No”. If you haven’t yet discovered Anna Valerious, here is another “inspired” post:
And you are spot-on to realize that they really do hear you, they just don’t care. Healthy families have boundaries; sick families will start a war to eliminate them–and you–in the process. Keep standing firm, saying No–you are among friends here!
Kathy,my sympathy and support are with you. I too am a widow.My first (and only)relationship after my husband’s death was with a narcissist. I’m out of it now but the pain/doubt/humiliation linger on.I’ve written about some of the details several times.His sick ‘love’ has done so much harm.He was angry and jealous because I keep my husband’s urn on a shelf. He yelled “if you loved ME you’d put THAT in the closet.”! I couldn’t -it would have been like my years as a wife never existed.Somehow he couldn’t see or understand I did love him.No matter what I did it wasn’t enough! I hadn’t dated in 40yrs and didn’t see all the ‘red flags’-by the time I did the damage had been done..He used every trick in the N’s playbook including his church!! You will always have a place in your heart for your husband. You were his choice and partner in God’s eyes, hold that thought when the N’s behavior hurts so much. It is hard to accept that people can be so cruel !! When you ”can’t take it anymore” PRAY and visit “us” on this site. Hugs and prayers for you.
REPOL,I appreciate hearing from you.I’ve got a feeling a Christian Narcissist probably uses their twisted version of scripture more than we know. Mr. “N” prayed over me(holding my hands)whenever I was/did something he didn’t like,saying” Satan is in your head.”I never heard him pray for forgiveness or help for himself. Claimed ex wives were possessed of “evil unforgiving spirits. He didn’t like my(mainstream denomination) church-told me he’d” rather I went to no church than go to that one” I won’t be seeing you in heaven.”” I am to be your spiritual leader because I am the man”-he doesn’t include the responsibilities that scripture require of the man.When I caught him cheating(online)he took me to see his pastor,I was told “the past is the past” and “you’re snake hunting.”Those words were trotted out any time he needed to keep something hidden. He is seen publicly as a kind,prayerful,gentle, sweet man- has total support of his friends,pastor.I was ashamed of myself.I was never able to reveal his abuse both verbal and grabbing.I wasn’t comfortable with him there and my calls to his pastor went unreturned. My Christian faith was shaken .Maybe I was being “bad ” or our relationship would be better. After all,he told me “God wants us together.”Only the beliefs and traditions of his church were right.My spirit was being systematically crushed. I EVEN BEGAN TO DOUBT MY SALVATION!!! My final words to him were “I cannot allow you to abuse me physically,emotionally or mentally. I AM A CHILD OF GOD. Repol those words you quoted were meant to damage your very soul-instead of doing that- perhaps the Lord used them to bring the N’s words as a warning to alarm you. PRAISE JESUS!
I wanted to clarify the last line-the Lord can show you through the N’s words that you should be on guard against their use of HIS name to further THEIR purposes. A lesson I wish I’d heeded so much earlier to save myself such doubt and pain . 🙂 and a prayer for you!
HDG – Hi, this is a very delayed response to one of your earlier posts…currently, I am only able to get online when I have downtime at work, and we got fairly busy there last week…plus, I have taken some time to read through some of the narcissism archives…
Anyway, I just wanted to say I appreciated you sharing how you and your N had 5 break-ups and how he came back sweeter and more loving, because we also had several break-ups and reconciliations. The last two began with him apologizing for a couple of things (but neither time did he cover all of his offenses, which I noticed but took him back anyway, deciding that even one apology was an encouraging sign). One of those apologies was for being so critical of me, and I actually did see improvement in that area, so it seemed he had been sincere, but he replaced the criticism with being pushy about getting married and resentment when I resisted…he wanted me to ask my roommate about getting out of my commitment to her early so we could get married in less than a year. When I refused (not the marriage idea itself at that point, just marrying in less than a year), that’s when he started accusing me of caring more about her than him.
Anyway, it helps me to know that others have had “revolving door” relationships with their N partners, where the N seems so loving and sweet at first, and you start to think that it’s going to work this time. I have struggled with a fear that I don’t know how to unconditionally love someone, because I wasn’t able to take his behavior (and my previous relationship was with a man who also tended to display some narc characteristics, but I think on a lesser scale), and how could I not put up with the difficult behavior when he also displayed sweet and loving tendencies, too? But it’s so relieving to see that few, if any, people CAN take narcissistic behavior, even when it’s accompanied by loving behavior.
When I read the part about the squirrels, I shook my head and chuckled at the same time, just at the sheer, utter absurdity of being so demanding and impatient over something so innocent. I am glad the Lord answered your prayers, even though it wasn’t the way you expected Him to.
Cecilia K. I appreciate your comment and sharing. I am attracted to what I’ll call a ‘strong’ man, whose love and protectiveness make you feel secure. Mr N was just that AT FIRST but his TRUE personality gradually revealed itself. The breakups came followed by the( shallow )apologies followed by the (ever shorter)makeup period followed by another round of narcissistic behavior.I kept trying to ‘fix’ things(breakups hurt) when I should have turned it over to the Lord sooner and listened.His answer was there all along! I do still love Mr. N because of who he is(he has some vey fine qualities )and despite of who he is(narcissist) I consider that unconditional love.I pray for us both. I am LEARNING through this experience it is ok to love and respect myself because I too am a (female)child of God,loved no more or less than (male) Mr.N. Hope this helps you sort out some questions. Pray all goes well for you…..
Penny, thank you for directing me to this post. I have not seen Avatar but I have experienced this behavior, often. When the N shines on you it is a warm and wonderful place but when you are that person they no longer have use for it leaves you speechless. I feel like this is something that happens in a Mean Girls movie, not in real life. I’m always telling my kids, this stuff you see on TV, how they interact on these shows isn’t how it is in the real world. Turns out I was naïve and wrong. So in my world we don’t act like that!! We are nice and kind, we don’t judge, we follow the golden rule. Not sure why the N’s don’t get that playbook.
To have someone who was once a friend now have the capacity to walk up to a group, or pass you in hall and act like you don’t exist. It’s mind boggling. And I’m obsessed with making them see me. I refuse to be discarded!! I cannot give someone permission to belittle me that way.
So funny that you referenced “Mean Girls”!! I have used that often as a metaphor for what life is like with the narc and the narc’s allies. It might help when you try to explain to your mother or friends b/c it illustrates the exploitation of others. I was never a “mean girl” growing up, nor did I choose mean girls as friends. As an adult, it’s harder b/c you can’t choose your co-workers!! But you can choose to be wiser, smarter, and more aware. “I’d rather be alone with Jesus than in a crowd without Him”.
I like you did not choose that crowd. I’m just an average person that does not care to be the center of attention. However I do expect to be treated with respect, dignity, kindness. I’m the best friend most people could hope to have. My time is limited and I choose carefully where I spend my time. Maybe that is why this hurts. I chose him as someone that fit the bill. For me, my husband, our family. He wanted in and we let him. I guess that is where I was wrong. This N territory was new. I did not know we were merely a supply. It sounds so easy…walk away. Well no can do. There he is every day. My problem is #1) why do i care? And #2 how do i quit caring? Or how do I become a person worthy of his presence again, so I don’t have to deal with this constant drama. Ok out loud that doesn’t even make sense.but it is where my mind goes. I just want normal back.
How many times did I hear from my husband, “You’re kidding? What I said hurt your feelings???” and then he’d walk out the door to go to work. Uh, yes, those words were very demeaning and disrespectful, but to this day, even after divorcing me because I put Jesus first in my life and loved our kids as well as him, he still writes nasty emails and ends them by writing, “God bless you.” All his counseling hasn’t helped! ONLY God can make the wiring change in him, and I’ve prayed that for the past 6 years. I’m no masochist, but if God moved in him, I would seek good counseling, keep my dignity and boundaries, and love him as Jesus loves him.
What does a narcissistic mother look like?
Pat, I recently discovered a website that should answer your question – http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com. It’s very thorough.
I suppose the stereotype would be the mother who is sweet and gracious in public, but nasty behind the scenes. She criticizes freely and with venom behind the backs of those she pretends to care about. Her children see her as two-faced in relationships with others.
But, at home, the criticism and manipulation flows freely. She has no sense of boundaries, either in actions or words. She rarely sees her children as persons, but only as extensions of herself. She plays favorites, praises and rejects in almost the same sentences, and inserts herself in nearly every activity. She takes credit for accomplishments of her children, but never the blame. She scolds and punishes without heart. Her children desire her love more than anything, but never know if they have it.
Of course, there are differences among mothers. Some are overt, loud and obnoxious. Others manipulate more quietly. But most will leave this sense of emptiness in the hearts of their children.
By all means, read more. I have several posts on narcissistic mothers and many of the commenters have made very helpful observations from their own lives.