Psychological wounds of being the child of a narcissistic mother persist in the mind and heart. Many sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers have suffered since early childhood from a combination of emotional neglect and verbal and psychological abuse. You always lived with the secret that “mom” (actually a non-mother) wasn’t the person everyone believed her to be. Socially she was adept–everyone thought she was a wonderful person, always thinking about others. In public her manners were impeccable. Often these mothers create a visual image of themselves that is very attractive. They know how to schmooze and to gain peoples’ trust. Some are active in community projects; others are highly trained, outstanding professionals–specialty physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, accomplished attorneys, masters of finance, etc. On the outside they are perfection. The insides that they activate with their children are nightmarish and horrifying.
Psychoanalyst Alice Miller focused much of her writings on narcissistic mothers and the negative consequences for children of these highly disturbed individuals. She poignantly describes the young child’s dilemma–how he/she is trapped in the narcissistic mother’s web in Prisoners of Childhood:…a child is at the mother’s disposal. A child cannot run away from her as her…A child can be so brought up that it becomes what she wants it to be. A child can be made to show respect, she can impose her own feelings on him, see herself mirrored in his love and admiration, and feel strong in his presence, but when he becomes too much she can abandon that child too a stranger. “
Learning that you are entitled to heal from your narcissistic mother is a new beginning in your life. Being in touch with your real self–that person who is genuine, spontaneous, has humor, respects his gifts and accomplishments, shares his affection with others, is learning to be a lively child again while being a responsible adult—all of these qualities you will reclaim. To process of healing goes on throughout our lives. It is challenging. There are speed bumps and sometimes we feel like we are in reverse. But keeping our eyes on the goal of fully becoming who we were meant to be is the great beacon that moves us forward each day. Healing takes place through discipline, faith and action and the firm belief that we are entitled to heal. This is an essential part of the work. Any one who interferes with this process cannot be held close. No one will ever block the flow of our lives again. You are moving with the tides, the flow of the rivers and the creative depths of your unconscious and the gift of intuition–our inner wisdom guide. Pay close attention and you will hear the messages that speak of your healing and your entitlement to it. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.