Children of narcissistic mothers have the hardest life path. The person whom they turned to and counted on, walked away from them, punished them, humiliated them and threw them away. These words are painful to write but so much more painful to live.
I have spoken to many of these dispossessed children and their stories are chilling. They speak of ongoing repetitive cruelties that were designed to make them obedient and submissive and, yes, even to break them. I believe you absolutely and so to those who come to this site and these posts—You are not alone with the Truth!
You had to pretend you had a real mom and even convinced yourself this was the case. You told other kids that your mom was just fine. All the while you had to live a lie. You had to normalize the image of your mother to others for survival purposes. Early on you learned to put on a an inscrutable face, even a convincing cheery one to throw people off of the truth. There was no where you could go to tell the real story. It felt too dangerous to reveal. At night you lay in bed and wept so quietly that not even a sibling in the same room could hear you.
Some children who grow up under these conditions keep believing that mom can and will change. This belief emerged when mother was in a good mood (a very rare occasion) and made promises to you–empty ones– that you believed. She would smile at you and you thought: “This time she really means it. I know she cares about me and will start to treat me like her real daughter (or son) rather than as an outcast.”
Now you finally know that this woman wasn’t a real mother–She is a narcissistic personality and incapable of true love or emotional intimacy or psychological attachment. That is disturbing and sad but true.
I hear from many daughters and sons of narcissistic mothers who have suffered for decades. They finally recognized that they could not change their mother, that she is a narcissistic personality and that the goal now is to focus your attention on the quality of your life–Start putting yourself first and pay attention to self care and your well being. This begins for many by going NC with your narcissistic mother. Each child of a narcissistic mother does this his or her own way. For some there is a clear clean break–a reckoning has occurred, too much emotional and psychological injury has been sustained and the adult children of the narcissist now know that they will renew their lives and become whole and healed. They find other individuals whom they can trust and in a sense form a new family. This is not an easy or smooth process but it can be done.
There are some adult children that rediscover dormant creativity inside of themselves that awakens in them and blossoms. Others find comfort, connection, inspiration and peace in beginning a spiritual practice. This is defined specifically by the individual. Working with the body/mind through practices like gentle hatha yoga help us move into the restorative, quieting part of the nervous system, the parasympathetic. Acupuncture when provided by an excellent practitioner who is highly empathic can be very effective in moving the patient from the sympathetic fight or flight mode to the parasympathetic, calming nervous system.
There are so many ways that you will find to continue your course of evolving your true self. This is a lifelong process that you deserve to experience. And let’s always remember Beauty–It is with us every day. We forget about Beauty when we are suffering. The smallest moment holds Beauty when we are receptive to it: a grin, an encouraging look into our eyes, a recognition of our humanity, an idea that takes flight and grows in our minds like magic, a sweet memory that we have tucked away and is suddenly revealed, a revelation that comes out of our unconscious through a dream, a scent that takes us beyond thought into a mysterious inner world. These moments of beauty are unique to each person and universal at the same time. I want to share an experience that I have had for the last two years that speaks of pure beauty and is natural but has a miraculous quality. I planted a few milkweed plants in a small space. I made sure that they had not been sprayed with pesticides. They grew quickly. One day a few weeks later I noticed to my great surprise and wonderment, green and yellow caterpillars were devouring these plants. After total gorging as they grew larger and larger, they affixed themselves to a place on a wall or ledge and went into a dormant state that is a pupus of jade green with a horizontal band. After a while, I am not sure how long, I could see the butterfly through the pupus which had become transparent. Then one day I saw a perfectly formed gorgeous monarch, drying his wings on a wall. The greatest thrill is watching them practice their flying. They are the living jewels of the butterfly world. What a gift of astounding beauty.