Good mothers allow their children to be themselves—to be authentic and real. They are not threatened by a child who does not agree with the parent’s every thought and opinion. Narcissistic mothers vary in their styles—not in their natures and basic characters. They are solely obsessed with their perfect image, getting all of their needs and desires met, being the center of attention and controlling others. These traits are the opposite of being a good mother. When you are the small child of a narcissistic mother, you have to go along with the demands placed on you in order to survive. Despite a child’s age, he or she is often able to detect that there is something fundamentally wrong with mother. She is demanding, cold, distant, manipulative and unwilling to allow her children to be genuine and free to express their true selves. Small children in these situations are virtual prisoners in their own homes.
As children of narcissistic mothers grow and become aware that they are being treated with cruelty and dismissiveness, recognize that this environment is psychologically unhealthy. They find outlets of study, good friends whom they can trust and spend time away from the home which has become a lock down prison.
As adults some daughters and sons of narcissistic mothers repeat the patterns of childhood by marrying narcissistic spouses. This is most unfortunate but does occur quite often. Those who have been able to preserve enough mental, emotional and psychological independence are capable of thinking for themselves. They clearly recognize that they can no longer blame themselves for being the child of a narcissistic mother. These children follow their powers of observation, the pain of their maternal experiences and the need to know the truth about themselves and their disturbed parent. Many of them come to the conclusion that there is nothing they can do to change the narcissistic mother. This is clinically the case.
Some children have sufficient psychological and emotional stamina and will to separate and distance themselves from the narcissistic mother. They find other adults who are protective of them and respect and honor their authenticity. These are often adult family members who protect the child from the corrosive effects of narcissism. Many children grow up and finally recognize that they were never allowed to be their true selves, that they were manipulated and treated cruelly as a result of their psychologically disturbed parent and that this is not their doing or their fault. Some seek quality psychotherapy and heal the narcissistic mother wound. They now stand on the strength and grounding of their authenticity. They have come full circle—free from the obstructive oppression of the narcissistic mother and now true to themselves. This is a great victory that deserves our respect and understanding. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the Book: amazon.com and amazon kindle edition