Family problems.


I thought I’d return from Florida well rested and ready to tackle real life again.   I did have a wonderful, relaxing time and got to spend a good bit of it with my son, unlike other trips there, when he had to work most of the time.

Since returning, my daughter and her husband seem to be coming after me for blood.   I’m too emotionally distraught right now to even go into much detail about what happened, but in a nutshell, she is gaslighting me and lying about things I did/said, making me out to be a terrible, selfish person who doesn’t give a shit about anyone but myself and prefers my son over her.

This started well before I left for my trip.   I pushed it on the back burner, but her behavior lately has been bothering me.  It reminds me very much of her father’s abusive behavior before I finally had enough and made him leave the house five years ago.     She has been calling me terrible names, saying I said things or did things I never said  or did, and calling me narcissistic and “clinically insane.”    She thinks I’m crazy because I sometimes am critical of her or tell her I don’t like the names she is calling me.   In other words, reacting like a normal person does when attacked.   She’s gaslighting me.   I told her to stop, for whatever good that does.  She insists it’s not gaslighting.  Instead she flips it around and accuses me of gaslighting her.

It seems she is projecting onto me, and became a narcissist or some facsimile of one when I was not looking.  Her husband, who seemed sweet to me at first, has become quite cold toward me.   I think she has turned him against me.

We share a crowded house, and I don’t earn enough to pay all the bills on my own (and am too old to take a second job, nor should I have to take a second job!) but she angrily attacked me this morning for “being a bitch” to her,  and said she would no longer pay any rent to me because of that.

She says she needs to save money to move out.   That would be perfectly reasonable under other circumstances.   It would be fine if I earned enough that I could afford  to give them a break so they could save money, but I don’t and she knows it.  I could be renting out her room instead and she knows that too.   I also doubt she will actually save money and move, since she has never been able to save money before and can’t seem to hold onto a job.

Her brother wants to mediate (he’s good at mediating) but there’s no way for that to happen since then she would know I told him everything, and she is predisposed to not cooperate since she’s jealous of the more positive attention she thinks he gets from me.  They have become distant from each other partly because of geographic distance, but also because she thinks he judges her harshly (he doesn’t, but is reasonably critical and she can’t seem to deal with criticism).

I’m not sure what to do.  My daughter went out in a huff after flinging a litany of insults at me, and is currently (most likely) over at her father’s house (where I’m pretty sure they are all sitting around badmouthing me and talking about what a crazy, narcissistic person I am).   And yes, I do realize how narcissistic and paranoid I sound, but I’m absolutely sure that’s what is going on.   I feel like I’m reliving the nightmare I went through before I finally worked up the courage to go no contact with her father.    He freeloaded off of me too and told everyone I was the crazy one when I objected to his crazymaking antics and exploitation of my good will.

Now she is accusing me of “playing the victim.”   It appears that gaslighting comes naturally to her.  She must have been paying attention when I talked to her all those times about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, because now she not only knows all the terms and phrases, she has weaponized them, using them against me.

When did my daughter become her father?   I never thought she would become a gaslighting abuser or a narcissist because she always seemed like a high empathy person to me.  It’s like I turned around and instead of seeing her standing there, it’s her father all over again.

Until recently, and since her father left the house (at my insistence) in 2014, my daughter and I  have gotten along great.  I’m not sure when things started to go downhill or even who changed.  Was it her or was it me?  I feel like it was her.   But I just don’t really know.   It seems like it started to happen around the time of her marriage in January.  But her husband doesn’t seem like a narcissist to me, just a quiet guy.  But since he doesn’t talk a lot, I have no idea what he is actually saying to her.    All I know is that during the past few months, our relationship has been very tense and prone to lead to arguments.  I always feel like I’m walking on eggshells with her, and I know that’s a huge red flag.

Maybe she needed to go out and just calm herself down and give herself some space.   So I will see when she returns if she’s more reasonable.  But if she still refuses to cooperate with my house rules, I may have no choice but to make plans to move out myself and leave the two of them to figure out how to pay for everything themselves.   That’s not being spiteful, but I simply can’t live with someone (even my own daughter) who takes advantage of me the way her father did years ago.   It’s a form of abuse and extremely triggering.    I know she will be furious if that’s what I ultimately decide, but what else can I do?  I feel trapped and helpless.  I feel like I have no power or control over this situation at all and very few options open to me financially.

I guess I’ll see how things go after she calms down.   She’s done this sort of thing before and then apologizes later.   She always does say her father treated me like crap and I should have left sooner.    I just don’t know what to think anymore.  It’s times like this I just feel so backed into a corner and helpless.

I just had to vent.  To get this off my chest.   This post reminds me of my early articles, when I first started this blog and was realizing I had been abused throughout my life, and set about describing the mental and emotional abuse that was inflicted on me by my ex and by my family.   It seems I still haven’t broken that pattern and it snuck in again when I least expected it.

I have no idea what to do, really.


24 thoughts on “Family problems.

  1. That does seem a huge turnaround from how you’ve described before. I think of a kind of regression related to stress combined with her father’s influence. One thing is certain, that it is very hard to go no-contact while living in the same house.

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  2. I’m so sorry to hear about this. YOU DO NOT SOUND LIKE A NARC. Your daughter sounds like a narc. The fact that she remained friends with your ex was kind of a red flag to me. I have the impression that she is being influenced probably by your ex or by her husband. It’s outrageous that she is refusing to pay you rent but it still living there. Throw her out. Never mind what people might say about it. You have an absolute right. It’s your place.
    Before I got to the place where you were thinking of moving out, I was thinking it might be a really cool idea for you to move to Florida. Is that feasible? But remember the pay scale in Florida is smaller than in N. Carolina. If you want to move to Florida or somewhere else, you should do it. But if you really don’t want to move, don’t. Kick the freeloading daughter out. She’s a married lady and should be responsible for herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, I do think she has become one. I didn’t see it before but now I do. Projecting all her own actions onto me just like her father did and recruiting flying monkeys to back up her claims. Fuck, I don’t want this. I can’t deal with it again.

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        • I can’t throw her out and I wouldn’t anyway. That’s not a path I wish to go down. I can (a) suck it up and find a way to earn more money (I know that’s stupid as hell), (b) move out myself and leave her and her husband responsible for all the bills themselves, or (c) wait til she calms down and maybe we can come to an agreement. I prefer option C for now.

          I did write down all the monthly expenses and bills vs. what I bring home, so she can see on paper that I’m in the negative without their help. Maybe she needs it spelled out for her. Some people are more visual and can understand it that way. She seems to think, like a child, that I have an invisible money tree and unlimited funds. Maybe she doesn’t quite believe that I’m financially limited.

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  3. I am very sorry that you are going through this….
    Children of abusers go only in 1 of 2 directions. Either the opposite or the same. Sometimes they try so hard not to be like the abusive parent, that they become abusive in other ways. I am sorry.
    Strength to you, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. And yes, it does seem that is what happened. Well, out of two kids, if only one is a narcissist, I guess things could be worse. But damn, it hurts to admit I may be dealing with one in my daughter. Not sure what to say or do at this point.
      Having been her father’s golden child and an unwitting flying monkey against me during her early teens would have set her up to become one herself later. I sure hope not but it’s certainly a possibility.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course it hurts, I know it has to. No one wants to have to see their children as anything other than the most wonderful happening in their lives. This must be such an inner conflict for you. I am sorry you find yourself in this situation.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I’m praying she didn’t turn into a narcissist. But having been her father’s golden child who tried to turn her against me when she was in her early teens would set her up to become that way herself later on. I hope she didn’t, but the signs seem to be there. But there are times she’s perfectly sweet and reasonable and other times she has apologized for that sort of behavior later, so I know she has a conscience so she’s no sociopath, but maybe a low level narcissist or borderline? IDK.


  4. Oh gosh this is just unacceptable all round. Firstly, if your daughter is old enough to be married, she is old enough to stand on her own two feet financially. She needs to grow up and learn pretty quickly how to hold down a job and to pay her fair share of the rent and bills that you share. You are the one doing her a favour by allowing her and her partner to live in your house. I don’t know how to turn this situation around, but I think if it was me in this, I would start by removing the words “narcissistic” and “gaslighting” from all conversations with her. She has learnt somehow to use them against you. So get rid of them from all discussions. As hard as it may be, try to keep calm when talking to her and don’t accuse her or use emotion. Tell her that regardless of how each of you have treated the other in the past, from this day forward, things need to change. She and her partner need to pay their bills or move out, and no negotiations about this will occur. But give her a bit of time to come to grips with it and to change her behaviour. Don’t fall for the manipulation of accusing you of caring for her brother more than her. Tell her you love both equally. But you need and deserve your own space and a life free of manipulation and drama. Whenever she starts with the gaslighting just smile and ignore (hard I know, but the aim is to retrain her behaviour). Let her know you will talk to her only when she is respectful and civil to you (there may be a few long periods of silence but that’s OK, it should be temporary). The aim is to eventually have a discussion on the level of two adults, not an adult and a whiney child. It’s not going to happen instantly but maybe if you persist you will be able to rekindle the closeness you used to have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, I’lll try this. If she’s a diehard narc, it might not work, but I don’t think she is one yet. She’s on her way though. Hopefully not too far gone and maybe I can reach her. her father trained her well in the manipulation tactics and she’s good at using them, unfortunately. But I’ll try what you said. I can’t say I have high hopes though. I’m afraid she will pull the “you are insane” or the “it’s always all about you” card. It’s so hard to deal with these people and it’s also hella triggering.

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  5. Her not being able to take reasonable criticism is at least some sort of persecution complex… and being around her father isn’t a good thing; narcs are able to brainwash people into believing their lies/delusions, even their way of thinking. However, there’s a sort of immaturity about being young and unsuccessful where the adult child can take it out on the parents. (And dad characteristically doesn’t help, so that leaves you to blame.)
    It’s a mess.

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  6. I am so sorry Lauren that you faced all this you don’t deserve to suffer like this.I hope your daughter realizes what she is doing,severe Borderlines can appear like narcs even though they are not.It’s like they are possessed and later when they become normal they feel upset about how they hurted others.I just hope your relation with your daughter becomes fine.Is is possible for you to tell her that she hurted you and you are not going to tolerate this and you are going to move out if she continues abusing you?

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      • I am glad she is back to her normal self again.I think she is in trauma,If it wasn’t for your ex husband she would be doing so well in her life.The day she goes no contact with her Dad her personality will improve a lot.

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