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When I was in college student, I lived a few blocks away from some relatives. I had a standing invitation to eat at their house every Sunday night – no need to call ahead, just show up. As a starving college student, you would think I would take advantage of that, but I only went a handful of times.

Spending time with that family was painful.

You see, they had a sick game they liked to play in their family. If it had a name, it would be called “Let’s pick on April until she cries.”

April and I were very close. She had her issues, but I adored her. I have come to discover from reading the stories on this site that her mother (and possibly her father) were narcissistic. They had two “golden children,” who could do no wrong, one child who was sort of neutral, and then April was the scapegoat for the whole family.

Almost immediately after sitting down to a meal, they would start in on April. Everyone would talk about their day, but when she would try to talk, they would belittle everything she said. Nothing she ever did was good enough, and everything she said was stupid or unimportant. They would dig and push buttons until the tears fell.

I will never forget the look of satisfaction on that woman’s face when she had succeeded in destroying her daughter.


A mother is supposed to be a source of comfort and support to her children. Being a mother now myself, I can’t even comprehend how a mother can destroy her child day after day, after day.

April is married with her own kids now. And I still cringe when I hear her call her mother “Mama.” The woman never earned that title.