The child of a narcissistic mother has no home, whether he or she lives in a humble flat or a mansion. When mother is bonded to her child, she has a special union with this tiny human being. From the beginning a baby and young child either feels secure or insecure. Feeling protected and cared for begins very early.
Narcissistic mothers are unable to nurture, protect, be attuned to or open their hearts to their children. They are obsessed with themselves. Even when they are going about feeding and taking care of their babie’s needs, this is done mechanically without feeling, tenderness or any kind of emotional contact. I have heard life stories of many children of narcissistic mothers say that the woman who was supposed to welcome them into her arms, pushed them away, avoided their tears, their smiles, their pain as if they were not present. These women did the minimum that was needed to keep the baby fed and clean. In some instances the narcissistic mother didn’t offer a basic level of care. She ignored her baby for hours at a time while the little one screamed at the top of his lungs, then gasped and finally fell asleep in total exhaustion. As a result there was no bonding to mother. She was like a statue–look but do not touch. There was no warm flesh to hold, no eye contact, no response to sorrow or pain, no help when the small child felt desperate and alone.
Children of narcissistic mothers are Dispossessed–they have no psychological home or any sense of emotional security.In many cases there are mother substitutes who come to the rescue. Often it is the other parent, an aunt, grandmother, a nanny who is capable of giving the child the affection, emotional sense of security and safety that he needs.
Some children of narcissistic mothers spend many of the growing up years trying to make up for the mother love they never received. Many of them repeat the pattern of being treated badly by marrying a narcissist. When that doesn’t work some of them go on to wed another narcissist.
Others are determined to heal themselves. They benefit from skilled psychotherapy and other healing modalities like gentle yoga, meditation and the pursuit of their creative gifts. Often these children are highly empathic and are involved with professions that involve helping individuals who are suffering psychologically and emotionally.
Adult children of narcissistic mothers have traveled a difficult road to wholeness. We congratulate you–You have made it against many odds. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life