Narcissists Love to Make You Feel Worthless

Narcissists are cunning, tricky and conniving. They must always be in control. When they are “on” and contact you, they always want something from you. They don’t give a damn about how you are feeling or your life struggles. They have decided they want something from you–your time, connections, money, influence—any advance they can and will take. In these circumstances they are playing their game to the max. Their tone and manner couldn’t be more charming. They compliment you in just the right manner that will pull on you emotionally. This is especially the case with an ex boyfriend/girlfriend, ex spouse. You ask yourself: “Why is this person coming back into my life now?” Your answer could be–because he has reconsidered his love for me. Watch out before you become engulfed by this play to your heart.

Narcissistic mothers and fathers and narcissistic siblings suddenly appear out of nowhere and make promises about coming back into your life. They are so clever with their words and their tone. “It’s been too long. Let’s spend some quality time together.” Those are the magic words to an adult child of a narcissistic parent that can bring them back into the psychological ambush and painful entanglement with this NPD. Remember, these personality disorders do not change. They believe they are perfect. Remember that they are predatory–always surveying their environments for narcissistic supplies. They calculate your kindness and come up with the answer: Bingo–They can play you once again, get what they want and then disappear, leaving you feeling abandoned, emotionally battered and confused. Don’t go down this road again. It is a painful acknowledgement to recognize clearly that your parent is narcissistic.

You are a unique individual, worthy of leading the life that you deserve. You are the author of your life story once you have severed the relationship with the narcissist. No one can own you, intimidate you, possess you. You are free to use all of your many gifts, to establish close relationships with others capable of compassion and kindness. Develop a strong pattern of self care–doing those activities that you love and that will make you strong on every level. Enjoy all of your many creative gifts, Learn how to laugh again. Trust you intuition. Seek the beauty and healing of Nature. You will find respite there. Rediscover your original previous self.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers are Highly Empathic

After all of the insults, betrayals, brutality–mental, physical, psychological, exploitations, duplicity, uncontrolled bouts of rage or other abominations, I have found that most daughters of narcissistic mothers are highly empathic. They are capable of feeling and understanding deeply what another person is experiencing. Despite all of their ongoing, unending pain and maternal deprivation in childhood and beyond these daughters care deeply about others and have great insights into the painful experiences of those close to them and many whom they know and don’t know.

I have the deepest respect and feelings of closeness to these forgotten daughters. I think of their life stories, their courage each day, facing a malicious, cold and psychologically dangerous mother whom they never deserved. Some still blame themselves for not being adequate daughters…..Please stop putting the blame on your shoulders. You are a beacon, a bright light to all of those daughters who still struggle to survive and break free of the emotional bonds of the dark cruelties of the narcissistic mother. You didn’t ask to have this mother. It was part of your destiny. You survived and became an extraordinary human being. That is an enormous accomplishment. You give to others out of the depth of your heart. That is one of the reasons why we are here on earth.

Learn to give back to yourself. Take small steps. You will get in touch with the lovely child inside of you. She is waiting to be held and cherished by you. There are many pathways to healing. Discover what works for you. Gentle yoga with emphasis on breathing through the nose, activates the parasympathetic nervous system—All healing begins here in the calmness of the depths of this part of our body/mind. Listen to music that you love and helps you to feel calm. Deeply enjoy the presence of friends whom you trust.  If you like to write, do so spontaneously with joy and abandon. Sketching and writing is a wonderful way of experiencing what is happening in the moment. Some find peace in the garden where they see tiny insects going about their work, buds that have opened and promise to blossom, the scent of the rich soil that speaks of our deep connection with the earth–the eternal mother. Some find great  pleasure in cooking–engaging the senses in a special way. The colors of food are glorious. Preparing food is a form of meditation and creation for those who love it. Spending some time each day in quieting the mind in the way that works for you that is as pleasant as you can make it, is healing to the heart. It loosens fear long held, entrenched self doubts, terrors of long ago, sadness that haunts the body/mind. The power of meditation in the form that works for you cannot be underestimated but make sure that you are doing what is best for you. Here, there is no judgment—only the angels of encouragement and inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Mothers–Avarice and Huge Egos

There is a type of narcissistic mother who organizes her life around her ambitions not her children’s psychological and emotional needs. 

There are large numbers of mothers who must go to work to provide for their children. Some of them are divorced and the sole responsible parent.  They both work and take full parental responsibility.  These women put their children first even though they must work very hard to provide for them.They love their children and this is reflected in their kids’ deep love for them.

Many women are highly ambitious professionally. They possess the tools to high level success: drive, use of their fine intellects, formal education, talents, ambitions, fearlessness and confidence in themselves. They choose not to have children because their primary life trajectory is succeeding on the highest levels in business, academic, medicine, government, the corporate world.

Narcissistic mothers whether they have professional careers, work outside the home or stay at home, give birth to their children but don’t raise them. It is difficult for some people to understand why these women have children unless you understand the narcissistic mindset. The narcissistic focus is on the external—creating and maintaining the Perfect Image. Having a couple of children is part of their Image Portfolio.These women can be on the high end career track or those who have chosen not to work formally. They spend their days focusing on themselves: enhancing their physical appearance, constant social activities, etc. Their schedules are full and include very little time with their children.

Some narcissistic mothers are filled with avarice (“excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain”) ; they are obsessed with getting more. There is no end to their insatiable wants and musts. The narcissistic ego is boundless. She is perfect; others have enormous flaws. She is always right even when she makes huge mistakes that cause intractable pain and psychological damage to her children.

Children of narcissistic mothers suffer horribly under the cruel yoke of this self obsessed, unempathic parent. The pain often lingers after they have become adults. So many adult children feel guilty and take the blame for their mother’s countless cruelties, deprivations, torments, bullying, shaming, exploitation. Many of these adult children discover the pathways toward healing their psyches and minds. I have discovered through a number of years of contact with these children that they are often among the most understanding and compassionate individuals I encounter. They have survived with grace and a loveliness of spirit that heal them and others who cross their path.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissists Accuse You of Being Crazy–Not True

Narcissistic mothers, spouses and siblings accuse their victims of being “crazy”. That can mean anything–that you express your feelings, think independently, call the narcissists out on his mistakes, that you are creating a life of your own, that you have talent and tremendous creativity.  Wherever you don’t fit into the mold that the narcissist has created for you, there will be a target of his/her volcanic rage. Narcissists are so intimidating to most family members that we tend to believe what they are saying to us—even though it is a lie, figment of a deluded person. You are not fitting into the narcissist’s image of how he has molded you.  There’s the rub. Being yourself is not part of his repertoire. Since all reality revolves around him/her, you cannot step out of this very confined psychological space or the doors of Hell will open right before your eyes.

Narcissistic siblings are often sadistic with the chosen victim brother or sister. Having mother or father in your back pocket is a big plus if you want to put your sibling in constant turmoil. He or she gets the blame always for things that the budding narcissist, the golden child has done. The victimized child is not crazy. He lives in terror from one moment to the next.

Narcissistic spouses dispense with their perfect images when they enter the confines of their private spaces and all Hell breaks lose with their screaming demands, their false accusations, their threats to expose you for something you never did. This is crazy making but you are not crazy. The narcissistic spouse is creating chaos inside of you that is intolerable. You don’t think you can live through one more moment. Some husbands and wives on the receiving end are so afraid that they go along with the narcissist and even blame themselves and agree with his delusional accusations.

You are not crazy; you are being severely abused and treated with disrespect, dismissiveness and a complete lack of empathy or compassion. In these instances the narcissist is inhumane. Stop blaming yourself if that has become your pattern of survival–identifying with the aggressor.  Seek excellent professional help and make sure you do all of the research on finding a therapist who is worthy of your trust. Reach out to friends whom you can count on. You only need one. Know deep down that you will prevail over living in a narcissistic family or being married to a narcissistic spouse or having a narcissistic sibling. There are so many alternatives waiting for you. Start to recognize the beauty inside of you–the original self that you always were. There are many pathways to freedom. Trust your intuition to find the one that is suited for you. Listen carefully and let yourself be guided. Meditation in a form that works for you deepens intuition and the guides that lead us to freedom and rediscovering our real selves. You will find individuals whom you can trust along the way. They will help you. Be receptive to the gifts of knowing that don’t come from the intellect. You are learning that you can be calm, that the body, mind and soul are always in the process of healing.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Psychologically Controlling and Invasive Narcissistic Mothers

There is a specific kind of narcissistic mother who appears to be devoted to her daughter. She pays attention to her when others are watching. She makes sure that her daughter is dressed beautifully and has a perfect room. The narcissistic mother puts her daughter on display for everyone to see. She talks endlessly about how special her little darling is to her friends and relatives. There are many photographs of mother and daughter displayed.  Anyone who didn’t know the secrets of this mother/daughter relationship would never guess what is going on.  These narcissistic mothers use their daughters to burnish their own images of themselves. Playing the role of loving mother means that they can be professionally successful and an extraordinary mother at the same time. From the beginning mother decides what her daughter wants and needs. She is incapable of attuning to the nonverbal and verbal messages that her daughter is communicating.This daughter is like her perfect experiment. She is in complete charge despite the many signs that indicate that this little one is in distress, feels uncomfortable, frightened, etc.

These narcissistic mothers are highly controlling and invasive. As the daughter grows, mother doesn’t allow her to have any privacy. She is always intruding on her child’s private times to be alone, think her own thoughts and express her feelings. This is not allowed, especially since narcissistic mothers don’t have access to their own interior world. They are incapable of empathy–the capacity of understanding how the other person is feeling from her point of view not yours. The mother decides how her daughter should react and is highly critical when she doesn’t behave or respond  according to mother’s expectations.

Narcissistic mothers are invasive to the point of reading their child’s dairies and journals, listening in on their private conversations and trying to control their thinking. If the daughter of the narcissist tends is an an independent, creative thinker, she is ridiculed and sharply criticized. She is often called stupid and naive when she makes attempts to share her original ideas.  Mother mocks her, even laughs at her child.

The core issue is that daughters of narcissistic mothers are not allowed to be their authentic selves. These mothers are often envious of their daughters who in many cases are more intellectually curious, creative and  lively than their tightly wound mothers.

As the daughter grows, the narcissistic mother does not change. Some daughters live in the home only as long as they must and then find ways to leave this psychological  prison created by their narcissistic non-mothers. Other daughters wear themselves out trying to please their narcissistic mothers, wanting the love that this mother is incapable of giving.

Those who recognize that their mothers are narcissists and cannot change, often make the leap forward to separate from the cruel unbending yoke to which they have been attached for so long. They step out on their own, find ways to support themselves and finish their schooling. If they are fortunate, they find female mentors who act as surrogate mothers to them. This is part of their healing process. Having separated psychologically and physically from the controlling and invasive narcissistic mother is an enormous achievement. This is a process of many steps forward and at times, movements backwards but the goal seen ahead is one of ever-deepening belief in one’s original self, an independence of mind, the full use of one’s creative gifts and the knowing that you are a loving human being,: unique and wonderful.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Suffer Maternal Deprivation

Maternal deprivation is the absence of care, lack of affection, holding, looking into your child’s eyes giving the message: “I love you do much”,  listening intently to your daughter’s messages, verbal and nonverbal.  The narcissistic non mother removes all the joy from her daughter’s life. Narcissistic mothers live for themselves alone. Often they are envious of their daughter’s beauty, talents, intelligence, exuberant personality. They hate their child’s spontaneity and pick away with their nasty criticisms. Some daughters learn to conceal their true feelings. Others become emotionally numb. Some harbor a deep mother rage inside that they turn on themselves and becomes self loathing. 

Daughters of narcissistic mothers have difficult life struggles, learning to fully love their unique selves and celebrating it. 

To break the yoke attached to the narcissistic mothers they must recognize that they bear no fault.

They are separate from the cold ungiving selfish self absorbed woman who didn’t raise them. These daughters do the hard work of healing themselves and emerging as strong, loving, gifted women. Many benefit from psychotherapy, nurturing relationships with friends who understand them, spiritual practices that create calmness deep within them,creative pursuits that are healing and transformative, giving their care and affection to others who feel unloved and unwanted. 

Daughters of narcissistic mothers can and do come fully into the own true identities. They can prevail over the past and live fully in the present, expanding and growing all of their potential.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Give to Yourself

Daughters of narcissistic mothers have spent their lives as servants and even slaves. Never wanted, treated like dirt, the subject of physical and psychological abuse, being compared with other siblings and declared inferior, their moments every day have been filled with fear, humiliation and self degradation. Some adult daughters end up marrying the living nightmare of their mother—another narcissist who in his own style will pull all of the games and betrayals, and cruelties of her mother. This is a repetition of the past that often occurs.

As a daughter of a narcissistic mother, give yourself credit for surviving this hellish life experience. You got yourself through when no one was there to help you or even believe the dreadful things your NM did to you. Your siblings have remained silent and if they are narcissistic golden children they continue to blame and humiliate you. You are the one that is scorned. They learned very well from your NM. A time arrives when daughters of narcissistic mothers can no longer tolerate the abuse. They know they don’t deserve it and it is ruining their lives. Many of them go No Contact indefinitely in order to move toward self acceptance, inner peace, self appreciation and the full use of all of their gifts and talents.This reclamation of the self takes place day by day in treating yourself with kindness and expecting respect from those around you. You can fulfill the promise of inner peace and security to yourself. Create a routine that works with strengthening your body, mind and psyche each day. Begin the day with a practice of meditation or solitude that is quiet and private. Doing gentle yoga is very calming and stretches the muscles and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, that part of us that is calm and at ease. Learn to appreciate your own company. Spend time in Nature even it it is for a short time. Some people find great comfort with their pets. Journaling is a source of free expression that is creative and healing.  Learn to say “No” to those who would manipulate you, deceive you or make you feel small. Surround yourself with givers not takers.

You can heal from your NM. Keep the faith in yourself, do the work of healing each day and learn to feel entitled to use and enjoy all of your gifts and talents.

High Level Narcissists Cause Psychological Devastation

There are many remarkable human beings in our current society today. They can be hard to find since much of the country is captivated by high level narcissists who are often in positions of power and worldly influence. Unwittingly, many of us make the assumption that if a person is well educated and highly successful they are a great human being. This is not true.

There are people who have built their deserving success in the outside world and are looked up to by their colleagues, friends and family members and at the same time are fine individuals with tremendous character traits: honesty, compassion, humility, fairness, integrity. These are the gems in our society but gradually they are more difficult to find.

We have many high profile narcissists who are skilled at manipulating others into believing that they are great human beings as well as successful at their work. Often these people are very confident, appear to be personable, very attractive, present an impeccable image, advanced social skills and the ability to hold others in their thrall.

High profile narcissists have large entourages of people who adore them without question. Their very presence in the case of major entertainers in movies, television, music, drama creates swarms of adoring fans. The more power and influence they command the greater their sense of self entitlement and no limits attitude. The narcissist is dizzy with his ultimate sense of self importance. He/she is the object of adoration. “What’s not to adore? they ask themselves; I deserve to be venerated!”.

It is within families of high profile narcissists in particular that so much psychological damage is done. In the privacy of their homes, behind closed doors that the children and spouses and ex-spouses of these Uber-Narcisssists suffer the greatest psychological damage. It is within these rooms and compounds the their victims are treated abominably. Children of narcissists are threatened, taunted, physically beaten, humiliated, constantly screamed at, vilified, told they are crazy. You name it, the narcissist has perpetrated severe levels of abuse upon those closest to him. They use cruel methods to turn one child against another, especially when the narcissist has one child who is chosen to be his perfect clone. His other kids are compared to this Golden Boy or Golden Girl and accused of not being good enough. Growing up this way, they develop a poor self image, feelings of guilt, deep inferiority and self humiliation. They blame themselves for not being “Perfect” like their narcissistic mother or father.

Those who have grown up with a narcissistic parent can heal. I have seen this happen through their courage, research and hard work to rediscover themselves, to grieve over the parent they never had, to re-awaken their unique gifts and to understand, feel and know that they are loving human beings. Some of the loveliest individuals I have known are children of narcissistic parents. You will heal and restore your life. You deserve it. The time to begin is now.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

You Don’t Deserve Punishment from Narcissistic Spouse

Remember the old threat from years ago: ” If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.” Those two sentences ring through the decades, spoken by mothers, fathers and spouses in so many different ways. When you are married to a narcissist, you have something very legitimate to cry about, scream about, rage about. As have I stated before and you know from real life experience, these individuals are impossible.

Children of narcissistic mothers are particularly vulnerable to marrying narcissistic men and women. Being punished is a daily routine in the narcissistic household. Whether it is covert–lying about you behind your back, subtly stripping away your self confidence, demeaning you in front of your siblings. The imprint of the psychological pain is always there. If you get out of line and express your true feelings, watch out–you can hear the words in your mind: “You’re going to get it.” After years under the roof of a severe narcissistic personality disorder starting as a small child, it is not unusual that you would believe that you are “bad” and deserve to be punished. You have internalized this false belief about yourself.

Years later, enter the charming narcissist filled with magnetism, high level confidence, success. He finds you irresistible and you believe him. Who wouldn’t. Very few people can ward off one of these brilliant method actors, especially when they have all their lights turned on.

Before very long you are married and ready to share the rest of your life with this person. The real self of the narcissist is carefully hidden at first but the day comes when his darkness reveals itself in all of its ugliness. The narcissist doesn’t make mistakes according him. He is impeccable. You are the one who is deficient. Whatever you create is imperfect and filled with flaws. You are inherently defective—That ‘s what the narcissist believes about you and screams at you frequently. You believe him because that is what you have been told all of your life. Deep down regardless of your accomplishments–personal, professional, creative–it doesn’t matter. You are an inadequate human being that cannot change. This is the message projected on you. The childhood and adult messages fuse and resonate and reinforce one another. So many children of narcissists who marry narcissists believe this about themselves. They suffer horrible emotional pain. Many of them finally start to search for answers and discover that they are married to a narcissistic personality and that their parent(s) is a narcissistic personality disorder. It all comes together. The puzzle has been solved. What is left is the healing. You can heal and restore the real genuine self that has been waiting for so many years to be loved and cared about.

Always know that you are entitled to be treated with respect and that you deserve to lead your life in inner freedom and to use all of your creative gifts and talents. Many spouses sever their relationship with the narcissistic spouse and find that they have begun to restore their lives. It is a process that requires patience with yourself and perseverance. Appreciate each step that you take. When you have a setback, don’t blame yourself. Remember you don’t deserve to be punished anymore by anyone. Find friends who are capable of empathy and have the capacity to listen. Part of the healing is to find out what creates relaxation and calmness inside of yourself. For some it is practices like gentle hatha yoga, walking or sitting meditation, journaling, sketching, dancing, listening to music. You are healing one moment at a time.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Severing Relationship with Narcissistic Mother Your Healing Begins

We didn’t make a request to have our particular mother. She was bestowed on us by a complex act of fate. Small children may sense that there is something fundamentally wrong with mother. She doesn’t hug them or give them kisses. Her body is stiff when she is near; her gaze is hard and at times menacing. We are afraid of her but know that on some deep level that we must survive this person. Often these mothers are exceedingly strict and cruel. Some are completely disinterested in their kids and palm them off on babysitters and other caretakers so that “mother can lead her own life.” “She is entitled after all.”  The child cannot give this behavior a name but it doesn’t matter because her/his emotional and psychological needs are not being met. Yes, mother makes sure that the child is fed (not always–there are children of narcissistic mothers who have to fend for themselves in the hunger department and are severely deprived) and clothed and sent to school but there is no real communication. Mother is always distracted with how she looks and feels. Her moods are often erratic. Narcissistic mothers are known for their sudden fits of rage that are projected on to their children and spouses. Some children witness dreadful scenes between their parents of verbal abuse and in some cases, physical assault. The ugly arguments and vicious scenes are traumatizing to a small child. The narcissistic mother always wins, degrades the father, leaving him feeling worthless. The child does not have a strong father on whom he can depend. Some fathers are workaholics and spend most of their time away from the house. They are not involved in the raising of their children. They escape into their work, other women, alcohol, anything that will remove them from this she-devil of a wife.

It can take decades to find out that your mother is a narcissistic personality. You do research and dig for the truth about this person who has made your life so unbearable. Finally you know the disorder. Some children have been blaming themselves or thinking they were crazy all of this time. Other siblings may not have the powers of observation or objectivity to recognize who mother really is. In fact some of them are psychologically fused with her and will defend her to the end. These mothers enjoy turning one child against the other in defense of her. You may be the only one in the family who knows the truth about this woman.

If you are a truthseeker and acknowledge that you can no longer lead your life tied to non mother who has only brought you psychological pain, then you make the decision to sever the relationship.  This is a rough road if you  siblings and other family members are standing in her court. But you value yourself and the life that you want to lead. At this moment your healing begins. You have untied yourself from the toxic knots that have bound you to a narcissistic mother. You now swim freely in the ocean of life. You can be yourself fully. You have respite, rest and the capacity to dream and create–unencumbered. Your nervous system switches from fight or flight to relaxation mode. Your creativity soars. You keenly feel your capacity to give and receive love. Along the way you will meet other daughters and sons of narcissistic mothers and your words and empathy will help them to begin the healing process.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D

Telephone Consultation: United States and International

Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life