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I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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So my aunt is a foster parent for her three grandchildren because their parents were abusive. Two of the kids have autism and one has some behavior challenges because of the trauma. I've been babysitting them for 5 years now, living with them for the past 3 years. My aunt is toxic, she blames either me or the kids for everything, never taking responsibility for her own actions. She gets angry all the time over the smallest things, I want to be clear, she's NOT abusive, she just yells a lot. The social workers have sent both of us to many classes on how to take care of kids with autism and trauma. I've used a lot of what I learned in class and I've seen the kids improve a lot over the years, and I've learned not everything works for every kid, and nothing will work if your not consistent with it. They listen to me a lot better than they listen to her, and everyone can see it including her, she hates when I say things like, "take a deep breathe" or "this is your responsibility" and often interrupts me to tell things like, "just do what your told" and "stop crying, no one cares", and when I tried to talk to her about it without judgement a few years ago, she just responds with, "you think I'm abusing them?" and "kids should just do what their told", to be clear, I never accused her of abusing the kids. It was just an invitation for her to yell at me for an hour and a half. Nothing got through, all it did was piss her off more and she just yelled at the kids more, like, "what you think it's so bad that I'm yelling at you, your parents were a lot worse so don't complain to *my name* about yelling, it's not that bad, every parent yells." and, "if you think I'm so bad, I should send you to live in a real foster home, they'll do a lot worse than yell." It feels like there's nothing I can do. I'm not saying I've never yelled at them, I get angry, it happens, and I always apologize right away. I'm not trying to say I'm perfect, I make a lot of mistakes, but I acknowledge my mistakes and I tell the kids, "I was wrong". Those words have never come out of her mouth. If she's ever in a situation where she is undeniably wrong, she finds a way to blame it on someone else. Anyway, most of the time she avoids blaming me unless she annoyed with me, and she rarely yells at me, and I generally avoid confrontation with her now because it's never helpful, sometimes it's unavoidable because I can't always predict what will set her off. Now, it's been happening more often. This morning I was teaching one of the kids the difference between dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups, and she snapped. She started yelling about how stupid I was for believeing that, and how it doesn't matter what measuring cup you use for what ingredients, and that whoever taught me that is nuts. Now, you may be thinking, she's not actually mad about measuring cups, she's probably lashing out at me because she mad at me for something else. Yeah, I know exactly what she mad about. Shortly before her outburst, she noticed I was coughing and breathing weird, and asked if I had a cold and I said, "I think it's from the mold." I was referring to the mold in the basement I sleep in. I've been asking her to call the landlord about the mold wall, and she says she will, but she keeps 'forgetting'. For whatever reason she hates calling the landlord, and she always puts off calling them. I went a year without a working toilet downstairs because of this, and mold can be really dangerous. I'm coughing half the night and using my inhaler all the time. She knows she can't yell at me for asking her to call the landlord, but I can tell it pisses her off every time I mention it. So, after I told her my coughing and wheezing was because of the mold, she was looking for a reason to yell at me. I have no clue what to do. I love these kids, taking care of them has changed my life. The thought of leaving them breaks my heart. I also know that, based off past events, if I left, their is a good chance she'd end up giving them up, and they'd end up in the foster care system, split up, and who knows what kind of foster parents they'd end up with. My aunt is toxic, but the foster care system would undoubtedly be worse. Every scenario I run in my head ends horribly. If I stay: Even if she gets the courage to call the landlord before the mold kills me, I'll still be stuck in a toxic environment living with someone who doesn't give a fuck about me. I feel like shit all the time, physically and mentally. If I leave: Best case scenario, she chooses to keep the kids, but she has to quit her job because she can't afford childcare (more than half of the hours I work are unpaid) She's can't afford rent without her job, even with the money she makes as a foster parent, she has to move somewhere a lot worse. And my aunt being the toxic person she is, will tell them it's all their fault I left, even if I tell them it's not. She wouldn't let me see them anymore. So I won't be able to talk to them anymore and she'll spend years telling them that if they behaved better, I wouldn't have left, and they wouldn't have to live in a shitty apartment. Worst case: She chooses her job over the kids. She almost did this a few years ago, she had a partner who lived with her and helped out a lot, but toxic people attract other toxic people, so he lashed out, and actually hurt one of the kids, kid told a teacher, and he had to move out, so she couldn't afford childcare, so she was going to give up the kids. I was just babysitting at this point, but I offered to moved in and take on the extra hours as rent. No one else is gonna want to move into the unfinished basement with frequent water problems and moldy walls, and even if they did, they probably wouldn't put up with all the shit I have for very long. And the kids have autism and behavioural challenges, so the social workers have made it clear the 2 with autism can't be home alone until they're 18, and the other kid, can be home alone at 12, but can't babysit. So, kids end up in the system, separated, likely abused, feeling like no one wants them. As you might imagine, I've thought a lot about taking care of them myself but that's completely unrealistic. One, I can't afford a place to live with 3 bedrooms, which is a requirement. I'm also a first year university student, so pretty sure that disqualifies me, and even if by some miracle I found a place to live and I dropped out, I'm only 24 years old. Pretty sure they don't let people that young be foster parents. Let's say I stayed and I waited 4 years, saved up enough for a downpayment, graduated, got a job and bought a house. What would that even look like? I leave and wait to see if she gives the kids up? Then jump in and apply to foster them? What if she keeps the kids? Do I try to convince the social workers that I should take care of the kids? There are so many things wrong with everything I just wrote. I just feel like there is no good way out of this. So, I'm open to suggestions. Anyone who took the time to read this, thank you. I really have no one to talk to and after today, I really feel hopeless so even if you don't know what to do either, I appreciate you.

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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Hi I_Love, Apologies to you - and the other three posters who've sat there, unanswered...bad timing, everyone busy at the same time, I'm afraid. *********************** (I haven't read ahead, fyi) "So my aunt is a foster parent for her three grandchildren because their parents were abusive. Two of the kids have autism and one has some behavior challenges because of the trauma. I've been babysitting them for 5 years now, living with them for the past 3 years." So your aunt's kid and his/her spouse were abusive to the kids and she was awarded custody. And you now live with them. "My aunt is toxic," Oh, really? In that case - WERE the parents abusive or has granny somehow managed to do a narcissistic con-job on social services and the court? Or is she just really stressed-out to the point where she can no longer contain herself? ...I'll keep reading... Question: Where are there parents now? WAS this an official, court-appointed custodianship? And is it permanent or temporary whilst the parents seek therapy, etc., to fitten-up so as to get them back at some point? "she blames either me or the kids for everything, never taking responsibility for her own actions. She gets angry all the time over the smallest things, I want to be clear, she's NOT abusive, she just yells a lot." Oh. OKAY. She's *behaving LIKE* a toxic person, then (maltreatment, verbally but only in terms of too easily flying off the handle, and shouting,...being stressy with you all, but not taking any ownership - correct?). "The social workers have sent both of us to many classes on how to take care of kids with autism and trauma. I've used a lot of what I learned in class and I've seen the kids improve a lot over the years, and I've learned not everything works for every kid, and nothing will work if your not consistent with it." Houston, we have another iQ and eQ (- emotional intelligence) genius! :-) You might have a touch of autism, too, in that case. It would make your mind pre-wired for understanding and empathising with them and why they feel and act as they do. I call that Cuspie/Cuspberger's (rather than Aspie/Asperger's). "They listen to me a lot better than they listen to her," Course they do. "and everyone can see it including her, she hates when I say things like, "take a deep breathe" or "this is your responsibility" and often interrupts me to tell things like, "just do what your told" and "stop crying, no one cares"," Huh?!? OH, DON'T THEY, AUNTIE? How very effing interesting! (Did she ever take that back?) "and when I tried to talk to her about it without judgement a few years ago, she just responds with, "you think I'm abusing them?" and "kids should just do what their told"," Depends on the kid - whether they're neurotypical or not, and, therefore, what they're told or how well it's put! Aspies and tiny kids can't DO what they're told if they haven't understood what the DO bit actually demands. Jeez. "to be clear, I never accused her of abusing the kids." Oh, I could tell that already, no worries. She's acting to type...I'm getting her number... Keep quoting her statements/sentances - it makes it so easy for me to tap in. "It was just an invitation for her to yell at me for an hour and a half. Nothing got through, all it did was piss her off more and she just yelled at the kids more, like, "what you think it's so bad that I'm yelling at you, your parents were a lot worse so don't complain to *my name* about yelling, it's not that bad, every parent yells." Ollocks. But, clearly HERS did and hence so does she. (Sorry to say it, but she's not nearly as intelligent as you - nor for her age and experience.) "and, "if you think I'm so bad, I should send you to live in a real foster home, they'll do a lot worse than yell." WHAT THE BEEPING BEEP?!*!? SHE IS CHIPPING AWAY AT THOSE KIDS' ALREADY FRAGILE SENSE OF SECURITY BY THREATENING TO ABANDON THEM - WTFFFF???? YEAH. SHE'S TOXIC. OH, YEAH. If she's isn't a full-time Narcissist, she's just done a bloody convincing impression. Jeezuz. JEEZUZ! I'm going to pause and read the rest ahead now... Be right back...

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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...Threatening to abandon them AND to where they'll have full-on abuse again. That woman does not have the empathy or intelligence or "give a damn" (except about herself) enough to be custodian of those children. THANK WHO/WHATEVER IN THE SKY THAT YOU'RE IN THEIR LIVES! Describe their parents' abusive behaviours to me. Please. I'm still reading the rest, though. Sorry about that pause. I was shocked...stunned... appalled...wanting to ring whichever social services(!)...needed a breather. You poor woman. Those poor kids. Oh......nnnnnnUH! Lost for words.

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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I'm going to finish reading and then give you an instant plan of action - to calm the kids and thus the waters so that you and I can think about what to do.

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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"I'm not saying I've never yelled at them, I get angry, it happens, and I always apologize right away. I'm not trying to say I'm perfect, I make a lot of mistakes, but I acknowledge my mistakes and I tell the kids, "I was wrong". Those words have never come out of her mouth. If she's ever in a situation where she is undeniably wrong, she finds a way to blame it on someone else." Oh, stop. Listen, I've got your number too. So do not waste any more of your precious breath pre-defending yourself in case anyone gets you wrong. Your number shouts very loudly as crystal-clearly, undeniably BLOODY LOVELY. Alright? You are those kids' angel. You've been picked to be (by "them up upstairs"). And you're definitely not in a position of powerlessness (human-created problem = human-created solution/reversal). You MIGHT, however, have to do an angel-sized Difficult Thing...don't know yet, still haven't finished reading, just caught that and had to put paid to it, get it out of the way of your thinking and reporting. Yes, all parents yell. SOMETIMES. NOT VERY OFTEN. Yelling as your default, your go-to, is a sign of not having - wait for it - adequate parenting skills. She's not qualified to parent - especially not those with special needs and skills (oh, LOTS of extraordinary, mightily societally-useful skills, once they're shown and explained to about how to deal with over-stimulation, particularly social). ********* "Anyway, most of the time she avoids blaming me unless she annoyed with me, and she rarely yells at me, and I generally avoid confrontation with her now because it's never helpful, sometimes it's unavoidable because I can't always predict what will set her off. Now, it's been happening more often." Yep. Woman not built to cope to begin with (SHOOTS a gun at a fly rather than opening the doors and windows to shoo it out with her hand or let it fly back out naturally), now, on top - "not coping". What country are you in and why didn't - and why aren't - social services seeing this? "This morning I was teaching one of the kids the difference between dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups, and she snapped. She started yelling about how stupid I was for believeing that, and how it doesn't matter what measuring cup you use for what ingredients, and that whoever taught me that is nuts." OKAY. SHE'S JEALOUS OF YOU, NOW, BECAUSE, WHERE KIDS ARE CONCERNED, YOU HAVE A MAGIC WAND AND SHE ONLY HAS A BIG STICK. AND THAT MAKES HER FEEL INADEQUATE - NOT SUPERIOR 'LIKE USUAL' - COMPARED TO YOU. THIS FEELS BAD. SHE THEN BLAMES HER FEELING BAD ON YOU... FOR JUST BEING YOU. Yeah, she's a Narc - too verbally intimidating and abusive for kids, especially super-sensitive, now raw ones (good god). "Now, you may be thinking, she's not actually mad about measuring cups, she's probably lashing out at me because she mad at me for something else. Yeah, I know exactly what she mad about. Shortly before her outburst, she noticed I was coughing and breathing weird, and asked if I had a cold and I said, "I think it's from the mold." I was referring to the mold in the basement I sleep in. "I've been asking her to call the landlord about the mold wall, and she says she will, but she keeps 'forgetting'. For whatever reason she hates calling the landlord, and she always puts off calling them. I went a year without a working toilet downstairs because of this, and mold can be really dangerous. I'm coughing half the night and using my inhaler all the time." OH, WHAT-AH!? She just gets worse and worse as I read! At best (if she's a bit scared of the landlord) that's her own feelings (due to cowardice and lack of adult maturity and sense of responsibility) before obvious danger. At worst, it's passive-aggression OR covert aggression. ("Help meee!" / "No"). A Narc must get their revenge if you deserve to be punished for making them feel bad, e.g. by "criticising them" (even if it's obviously constructive, not personal). "She knows she can't yell at me for asking her to call the landlord, but I can tell it pisses her off every time I mention it. So, after I told her my coughing and wheezing was because of the mold, she was looking for a reason to yell at me. " Okay - you've got her number too. But not all of it, so now add in the constantly in-the-background (pathological) envy as her part-motivator. IOw, she's already/constantly pissed-off...and then something pisses her off. That's WHY she's so quick to get straight to 60mp in an instant. It's NOT from 0. It's from 40 or something - kept mostly hidden away but providing the conditions for her having a hair-trigger. See it? " I have no clue what to do. I love these kids, taking care of them has changed my life. The thought of leaving them breaks my heart. I also know that, based off past events, if I left, their is a good chance she'd end up giving them up, and they'd end up in the foster care system, split up, and who knows what kind of foster parents they'd end up with." Yup. Well..it could go the happy way, of course. But, yes, it's a gamble and a risk. Is she getting paid benefits by the govt every month for having custody? Because, clearly, she doesn't enjoy having little people OR big people around her (she doesn't like the landlord, either - isn't SCARED, that's just to soft-soap you, make you back down...but she thought immediately of him as her excuse, so, stands to reason. Maybe he doesn't take her crap, eh.). And she clearly is incapable of proper, not warped, Love. She's not an adult herself - only her body and logical mind kept growing after (I'm betting) her trauma or ongoing chronic mini-traumas. Her emotional understand was typically at that age a misunderstanding, that stuck, and from which place she is STILL seeing and treating the world/people. " My aunt is toxic, but the foster care system would undoubtedly be worse. Every scenario I run in my head ends horribly." Well, hang on. What does YOUR mum say about all this? And your dad? Who else is in that whole family? Why are YOU left to deal with this? How old are you? Meantime: immediately solution No. 1 - the mould. - Calmly tell her (in a Mr Spock, flat tone) that because you're a live-in nanny, your rental included, that makes you a renter in the eyes of your local housing authority. If you're in the UK, the abode - all of it - must be habitable, which includes for no pests and pathogens. If social services knew there was mould in the house where kids live and where you, the nanny SLEEP IN, they'd blow a gasket! So ***BEFORE*** YOU SAY ANYTHING to her, see where you stand: Ring or visit in-person your council's housing/rental department and ask them anonymously and hypothetically ("If someone told you this, but also this and this as context/background situation, what would you be able to do, without making relations thus my situation even worse? Could you say your authority were doing spot-checks on kids' accommodation or something?"). Again, you are at liberty to say you don't wish to disclose your identity just yet or it could cause a destructive, runaway train. (They're used to that, no worries.) - Ditto Social Services (these are all just your options, no pressure) (As you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you're now at genuine liberty to get fierce and out-Narc the Narc. Fight dirty like she does. But dirtier and for REAL consequences that she would NOT...WANT. It's blackmail, sure. Or has to be seen and dealt like that because of the way SHE sees the world. In Normal Land it's called, Putting Your Foot Down Very Firmly. But so is her nonsense emotional blackmail:...it could be taken as, So move out then, you know-it-all who makes me look bad (- er, no - she IS bad, she doesn't need you to look it!).) You could then start by telling her you've done your research - anonymously - and don't want to have to go in again with names, but you will if she continues to (say it sarcastically) whoops-keep forgetting, because meanwhile (1) it's damaging your health (which you could sue her for - on the basis you are NOT at usual liberty to "just move out, then", because of the kids), and is against housing law to keep failing to deal with it ("your forgetfulness - your problem, not your live-in nanny's, the authority and court would say, probably adding, "HOW you could forget about something so threatening, however, is another matter"). - This also encroaches on the laws of employment so you could ring a nanny agency and ask them for advice, too. They hear about this, from their own nannies, ALL the time. Nannies are vulnerable to abusive client-parentsIf I stay: Even if she gets the courage to call the landlord before the mold kills me, I'll still be stuck in a toxic environment living with someone who doesn't give a fuck about me. I feel like shit all the time, physically and mentally. ******** "If I leave: Best case scenario, she chooses to keep the kids, but she has to quit her job because she can't afford childcare (more than half of the hours I work are unpaid) She's can't afford rent without her job, even with the money she makes as a foster parent," Ah. She probably is in it for the money, then. " she has to move somewhere a lot worse. And my aunt being the toxic person she is, will tell them it's all their fault I left, even if I tell them it's not. She wouldn't let me see them anymore." ***Well, what direction of action out of the above choices does THAT tell you you ought, for yours and those kids' sake, to take, then?*** NON NEGOTIABLE: They need to see you, their angel and REAL foster-parent (verb first, then noun) regularly. " So I won't be able to talk to them anymore and she'll spend years telling them that if they behaved better, I wouldn't have left, and they wouldn't have to live in a shitty apartment." Even if this WAS on the cards - they wouldn't believe her - they'd believe you. Every time! Kids aren't stupid... they just don't have the vocabulary + experience yet for comprehensively describing an adult-sized problem they have, which they shouldn't. That's why therapists have them draw pictures or re-enact with dolls instead. They know the information itself is in there and is the truth. However, they're all that much more au fait these days with the behavioural signs in kids, too, even before they've been encouraged to open their mouths. "Worst case: She chooses her job over the kids. She almost did this a few years ago, she had a partner who lived with her and helped out a lot, but toxic people attract other toxic people, so he lashed out, and actually hurt one of the kids, *kid told a teacher," (*WOOHOO - CLEVER KID! That'll be on the school and SS's records! - Head Start!) " and he had to move out, so she couldn't afford childcare, so she was going to give up the kids. I was just babysitting at this point, but I offered to moved in and take on the extra hours as rent. No one else is gonna want to move into the unfinished basement with frequent water problems and moldy walls, and even if they did, they probably wouldn't put up with all the shit I have for very long." Nope, they wouldn't. (ACTUAL shit, I imagine?) " And the kids have autism and behavioural challenges, so the social workers have made it clear the 2 with autism can't be home alone until they're 18, and the other kid, can be home alone at 12, but can't babysit. So, kids end up in the system, separated, likely abused, feeling like no one wants them." Sometimes. Definitely not always. " As you might imagine, I've thought a lot about taking care of them myself but that's completely unrealistic. One, I can't afford a place to live with 3 bedrooms, which is a requirement." Not it's not. And in case you hadn't noticed, you're already doing it, bar the change in abode! In fact, your local authority would make it possible, given the present debacles everywhere you look under HER roof! You're Blood. :-) They'd put them with you before putting them with strangers, especially with these days' tight budgets. You'd get the foster carer's allowance and housing benefit and various other benefits. - Phone Universal Credit and ask. " I'm also a first year university student, so pretty sure that disqualifies me, and even if by some miracle I found a place to live and I dropped out, I'm only 24 years old. Pretty sure they don't let people that young be foster parents. " No - THEY would find you a place. No miracle required. Not if you're home when they're home? You could study from your rented house/flat most of the time, couldn't you? And attend any (now rare) lectures whilst they were at school?...if need even BE? Especially as working from home is the new, cultural and commercial rage? It makes a HUGE difference, the fact that you're related to them both! Look, any fool can tell how mature AND emotionally mature (the No. 1 skill for paren-tinggg!) for your age you are. That's the first hurdle got over. - You're related - that's a monolithic Plus Point that overrides things! - They've already spent 3 years plus in your care - and feel safe to love you in return - and that gives you legal dispensation because the family courts do everything possible, first and foremost, to avoid the kids having to have their FAMILIAR ROUTINE disrupted (so as not to ADD trauma) - which starts with the Who has been hands-on CARING for them. YOOOU. :-) They can also see from the kids' improvement in school conduct and performance and just generally, doncha know. (It's sounding better already, look! I mean, things might have changed or improved, recently, that I don't know about but, only by asking will you feel better. MUCH. I promise you. Because, unbeknownst to you, it's the Not Knowing that's doing your head in and creating this anxiety, the most. So think about CEASING thinking and Just Nike. Climbing a mountain may take a long time but it's easy because it consists only of ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER and you can space the steps out or make the span tiny (baby steps)...style and pace is up to you.) "Let's say I stayed and I waited 4 years, saved up enough for a downpayment, graduated, got a job and bought a house. What would that even look like?" Like it does now, without the constant aggro and health risks and randomly horrid atmosphere. But this, now, would be Plan B. Plan A - in Pick 'n Mix style bug as a pre-bagged selection if you wish - is up there. " I leave and wait to see if she gives the kids up? Then jump in and apply to foster them? What if she keeps the kids? Do I try to convince the social workers that I should take care of the kids? There are so many things wrong with everything I just wrote." N/A - dealt with. (Stop panicking and imaging the worst all the time.) "I just feel like there is no good way out of this." Yeah, there is. Might be stressful in the very short term but it'll be worth it forevermore after. Bit like going to the dentist, how you feel AFTERWARDS (including kicking yourself for the run-up fuss). " So, I'm open to suggestions" Well, now you've got some. Just start with babysteps as per my menu of choices up there (or you can take them all?)...just one call or visit, explain why you're not giving your name, and then describe it all for them. EITHER govt department. They, and this issue, are linked. ". Anyone who took the time to read this, thank you. I really have no one to talk to and after today, I really feel hopeless so even if you don't know what to do either, I appreciate you." Probably lots of people, but I suspect it was a bit obvious that this was about Narcissism or Narcissistic PD (the shockingly cruel words to the kids - itself an act of CHILD ABUSE, TYPE MALIGNANT NARCISSISTic) might have made other regular posters leave this to me. Dunno. But whenever I post on a thread with NPD, no-one else tends to (meh). I'm sure you can devise your own verbal antidote to the kids, but, here's my speech suggestion, which you need to administer immediately and then at whichever regular intervals as you see fit (because fit, aka healthy, is what you do see and do). "You two guys aren't annoying or infuriating. You're GREAT kids! I'm not annoying or infuriating. I'm great too! But Auntie, because she's always so upset inside that she's not coping with being a mum while having a job and too many other problems (like the mould) she can't fix, is constantly annoyed and infuriated and acting like it TOWARDS US, as if it's US who are upsetting her. It's called, She Can't Keep A Lid On It (have an empty vitamin tub or something to act it out, the trapped crap inside that bursts out with any annoyance "today", even if the lid is opened a tiny bit - whoosh! ((Pandora's Box, innit.)) You two and I are still gorgeous, though. It's not our fault, it's not because we're not lovely enough or too difficult. I'm not too stressed to see and feel your loveliness, am I?...no... and so, let's just from now on pretend to listen to the horrid bits, do what she wants done, but remember inside our heads: "Auntie is stressed-out again" so that we don't let the stressy noises be upsetting to us." ((If you like, draw an analogy with their past, squeaky toys: squeezing tightly enough made them make very loud, often alarming but, realy, just silly, noises. This will greatly disempower her effect on them as well as protect their confidence in themselves and their loveable-ness and NICE natures and behaviours, actually.)) ***** Have a good read..and re-read and re-read...give yourself time to digest it....and tell me your thoughts. In the meantime, however, feel free to give me your knee-jerk reply. :-)

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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I forgot one other option: Learn how to tame this woman. Narcs are very easy to control - they like EITHER to be slave or master. It's the inbetween area called Levels of Equality and/or Equity that they can't do. They can't PARTNER. You either have to be deemable as inferior to them...or superior to them, which Benign Narcs happily roll over for ("Ma-ma/Da-da!"), but which the Malignants (actual NPD) see as a challenge in the form of now "having to" bring you DOWN to deemable as inferior to them. But even they can be manipulated if you're good at it and know how. Note how YOU'RE having to play the Parent role to her Child? That sums up a relationship (relationsick, more like) with a (- pff) Narc, but what classified which severity level they are is more to do with greater frequency, size, weight of inappropriate and abusive behaviour. Words don't stop them (albeit are tools for counter-manipulation as much as for the narc's manipulation - e.g. punishing you and/or daring you to move out, through refusal to get the mould treated). It's only your actions as their consequence - or life's consequences - that work on them. The Benigns, I mean. The higher-up-the-scale Malignants are too far gone, for learning, even from experience (yikes). They don't expect thus aren't receptive to INCOMING manipulation from us Normals, because we're TOO POLITE and don't like AWKWARDNESS, and some, CONFRONTATION/SELF-ASSERTION ("More tea, Vicar?" ....as the vicar sits there with his privates exposed). You're not. You're brave. This - Plan C - could work. And it's only ever for when you're ACTUALLY trapped in a situation with them that you cannot escape from and where you lack ANY options other than staying (your case, for the sake of those two kids' (your cousins') present and future welfare, even sanity). ************ I still want to know where all the OTHER grown-ups, especially who are parents, including your own, are, though? Haven't you told any of them?

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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Edit: " That sums up a relationship (relationsick, more like) with a (- pff) Narc, but what classified which severity level they are is more to do with greater frequency, size, weight of inappropriate and abusive behaviour." Should have read Benign between 'a' and '(- pff). As in so-called "benign". But the benign bit dropped off (don't ask me how). ********* PS: After she'd made that DISGUSTING psychologically-abusive (- not up for questioning, 100% severe verbal and psych abuse) threat - along with its tail-ended INSINUATION of sending them back into a 24/7, full-on abuse risk or actual situation) to the kids - did you take them aside and explain she was just mouthing-off while "out of her tree" bad-mood-wise and not stopping herself from saying nonsense but hurty things? She's the poison. You're the antidote. She knows that and that's one of the reasons why she resents you. When she said "you think I'm abusing them?": no. SHE THOUGHT. Guilty conscience pricking and her reacting to it - not in the normal, let me make it all better way, just (kid in adult suit) by pointing it elsewhere, anywhere but at herself...ergo, at you. That or just her attempt to escape the Guilty label because otherwise, you'd know EXACTLY to react, how to react, etc., which would mean she would have to suffer a NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE. (If that consequence still made no dent, and it gobsmacked you that it hadn't - you'd then know you were dealing with an actual Disordered Narcissist, i.e. Malignant.) Minimising is not always good for adults but A BIT OF IT is imperative for kids. The weight of this stuff, otherwise, is too heavy in one go for their still-small, still forming minds and pathways. Equally importantly, marry your verbal antidotes (even a fond and conspiratorial secret wink at them WHILE she's yelling at them can instantly comfort them) with the other half - the action(s) that prove it true: keep SHOWING them what great kids they are and how adorable. More hugs, more gentleness, more FUN...aw, just be you. LOL One should never undermine a healthy parent or foster-parent's authority by contradicting behind their back or failing to agree/be a team. But this ain't a healthy foster-parent, this is the opposite...she proved it beyond any shadow with that (I'm still disgusted) threat at them. So we accordingly use the opposite of the rule for healthy and DO undermine this one's "authoritah". (Welcome to La-La Land, and the best mental gym you could ever frequent without having to pay membership for...every cloud....) ALL A CHILD VICTIM NEEDS IS *ONE...HEALTHY, SANE PARENT FIGURE* to counter and reverse the crap the Narcissistic parent/-figure throws at them. Further - if that one parent happens to be EXTRA-healthy/strong/intelligent AND Warrior-like (despite that sounds contradictory when they're meanwhile failing to divorce the narc spouse) then - no worries, you, the now-grown kid, will come out knowing not only right from wrong but warped from straight and lie from truth - in ALL their subtlest forms possible...atomic! - maybe even where it seems you have x-ray vision. You, I_Love, are in the position of the extra-sane and healthy spouse who remains in the madhouse and tolerates the abuse from the narc spouse for the sake of the kids. To remain in that toxic environment without becoming affected or infected, that parent has to change their attitude. This is aided massively by reading up on what's wrong with them and what their mental illness/deficiency (tell it like it is) actually CAN "make them" do (although, despite what they say, it's never you who made them - or not to THAT mouth-frothing extent, anyway!). When you do that, you start to realise how pathetic and pitiable they are...that they are a mental patient that got missed, and therefore that still roams around amongst normal, healthy civilians, believing they are normal or at least socially acceptable (pff!). They then stop having the effect of upsetting or confusing you and instead become like a some-time housefly that's refusing to escape outside and keeps suddenly reappearing out of nowhere again, day after day (and misses the gap and headbuts the windowpane all over again...and drops tiny poos everywhere, ugh). You have to think - I shall (have to tame and train it,) make it my pet and call it Squishy" (- Finding Nemo). This is called Leaving Her, Emotionally and Psychologically. Because you're chained to her wall by the kids. Well, at this precise moment you still are, anyway.

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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""This morning I was teaching one of the kids the difference between dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups, and she snapped. She started yelling about how stupid I was for believeing that, and how it doesn't matter what measuring cup you use for what ingredients, and that whoever taught me that is nuts."" Google Narcissistic Projection ((or, Projecting)) and why they do it - or some such. That is how a Narc tells you "I am nuts!"...they float it out on their verbal sea of little boaties, just like she did. And tell her from me: Listen, Mrs Thickie Warperton-Upsidedown, yes there IS a difference in liquid versus dry measuring cups. And then blow a giant raspberry. (Or just imagine doing it, that'll do, LOL. I know I am.)

I'm a live-in nanny for my toxic aunt, I don't want to leave the kids

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Anyway, I have a return question for you: How come SHE was allowed to foster them if (behind-doors abusiveness aside) she was a partner-less woman (presumably a divorcee)? Or did she bring that abusive boyfriend in specially, to ensure she qualified? And hasn't updated them on her status change since? What's her job? Is it full- or part-time? I've got a harmless but highly effective AND ANAESTHETISING counter-manipulation package all ready for you, so I hope you do see this and respond. It'll have her positively purring and keeping her cool, no prrroblemo! Sorry for the mass of information, however, it at least makes up for the delay and, there's no rush in answering it from me, even just a quick message so I know you're reading will do for the mo if you're busy.

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