Autism or narcissism mother

Hello, does anyone struggle to understand their mother's behaviour and wonder if she is autistic, or narcissistic? I have ptsd from my mother's screaming and yelling fits in childhood. The thing is, recently I went to a therapist who suggested she is narcissistic, covert type. However I have aspergers and I really wonder how a mother with Aspergers might appear if she had ptsd herself and no autisn diagnosis due to masking her whole life and being born in the 1940s. How could you tell the difference between the notoriously difficult to spot covert narcissist mother, and a mother with Aspergers and ptsd and possible depression? Mood swings, difficulties with empathy, meltdowns, yelling, blame shifting, really hurtful lnsensitive comments, raging if criticised or perceived to be being criticised, different masks or persons, etc etc how would one ever know? I'm looking for anyone with experience in their own lives with this please, I'm interested to hear about your narcissistic OR autistic mom. Thanks a lot. 


  • Thanks, I've tried that actually, it was interesting but I just thought it was a bit lacking nuance, I need the nuance with this one!

    Of course, one type of diagnostic criteria next to another type of diagnostic criteria will always lack nuance, but basically with Asperger’s Syndrome in general ~ we are Self-centric as being more personally oriented, whilst Narcissists are Ego-centric as being more socially oriented.


    For instance does my mother do silent treatment or is she just silent because she cannot speak or does not know what to say. I don't have the answer.

    The silent treatment with a narcissist normally involves it being a calculation involving an intended objective, or it being a predation involving a watched or waited for opportunity ~ in order to unsettle people and empower themselves. Emotional blackmail basically.


    Certainly I go silent if I am overloaded, I cannot compute anymore. This has been seen as silent treatment by her!!!

    Your mother seems as such to have been ‘projecting’ or making a ‘projection’, in the sense that she imagined you to have been doing as she would been doing if the roles were reversed. It could also or else be a projection based on other’s behaviour as such in the past.


    She could be doing the same.... Just don't know. 

    It may depend on if or how she uses the silent treatment as a control drama.


  • we are Self-centric as being more personally oriented, whilst Narcissists are Ego-centric as being more socially oriented.

    I will think about this further

    Emotional blackmail basically

    Yes, I just don't know if it is, I cannot tell or surmise at all, could be either intentional or not. 

    It could also or else be a projection based on other’s behaviour as such in the past

    Yes, I always thought it was this rather than coming from in internal projection. My pa is a very overt narcissist. 

    It may depend on if or how she uses the silent treatment as a control drama.

    Yes, I just cannot work it out, does she or is she genuinely upset? I don't know because her emotional expression is quite strange. It could be aspergers masking to look normal but not quite managing, or it could be faking emotions for control and a reaction. I cannot work it out. Either way she comes across as faking something, but I just don't know if she's acting out an elaborate power play or if she's trying to look neuritypical while struggling to cope, this coming across vaguely unbelievable in some way. 


  • My pa is a very overt narcissist. 

    Do you mean by 'pa' your 'father' perchance?


  • Hi ILOVEDOGS

    'Mood swings, difficulties with empathy, meltdowns, yelling, blame shifting, really hurtful lnsensitive comments, raging if criticised or perceived to be being criticised, different masks or persons, etc etc how would one ever know?'

    You could be describing my mum too!! She was diagnosed at age 62 with autism and I've also had a lot of therapy to deal with my childhood experiences with her. I spent many years believing her to be narcissistic until I met my now husband who after spending some time with her suggested that she could be autistic and she decided to get a diagnosis so she can now say 'Its not my fault, it's because I'm autistic, you have to let me off etc etc' .. Lol

    I've sometimes wondered if she has a pathological demand avoidance profile but I don't believe it is currently diagnosed outside of autism. 

  • HI! Well, i'm on my 40's and i'm afraid i caused my 20's daughter some damage because of my undiagnosed autism, meltdowns, shutdowns and inflexibility. I didn't mean to hurt her. It's hard for a NT to deal with autistic meltdowns, it's very scaring for them. What could I do? I could avoid my meltdowns, my anxiety, my depression... she left, she barely talk to me, she avoids me. I told her i'm on the AS, i tried to explain but she doesn't want to deal with my autism. I know I lost her. If you haver Aspergers yourself, perhaps you can understand your mother, and forgive her because it is so hard for an autistic woman to educate and protect a child in a NT world. If possible, tell her you love her. I would like to hear that from my daughter.

  • I think only you would know. You have to decide if someone gives more benefit or hurt to your life on the weighing of it, irrespective of the reasons behind it.

    I'm autistic and had a narc mother. I think she was ASD but used the NPD as a masking method and a way to live life. She had no idea she was ASD, on reflection she definitely is. However she is also definitely a covert narc. So after years of abuse and damage, I feel no sympathy for her and nor should any person who'd been put through abuse by another. I'd say to ignore any other co-morbities - if someone is NPD, get away. I've met NPD people with physical disabilities and mental. Doesn't matter. An abuser is an abuser.