Narcissistic mothers are dogged about one thing: getting exactly what they want—at the expense of their children. It doesn’t matter if a child is an infant, toddler or teenager, the narcissistic mother is obsessed with her own needs and desires. She puts on a convincing act for business associates, friends, neighbors and her community. She is often considered a model of compassion and service in her public life. “I can’t believe how that woman does so much for others; she is so generous. How does she do it with her children?” “She is amazing.” “She does it all.” There are people who give adulation to these women who are very successful in their careers and who “raise their children.”
This is an elaborate act that the narcissistic mother has choreographed. She is a one woman PR machine, making certain there are photos and videos of her being such an “incredible human being.” She is given awards and fancy parties and tributes; she is revered. These narcissists are busy pumping up their perfect images 24/7. Narcissistic mothers cultivate faithful followers who are loyal to her and sing her praises.
Many people are very naive. They don’t want to believe that someone who appears to be so competent, attractive, “friendly” and “selfless” could be a dreadful highly pathological human being. Narcissistic mothers throw their children away. Regardless of the roles she puts them in, they are servants, even slaves to this toxic mama. There is no routine, plan, consistency, personal care or minimal interest in the children. They simply have to protect themselves and survive as best they can. Living under these conditions is like being in constant oncoming fire. It it a war of survival inside of these homes. Often the fathers are absent and psychologically dependent of the narcissistic mother. She rules the entire household like a Wicked Queen. She thinks it’s funny to terrorize her kids like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland who kept screaming: “Off with their heads!” Some narcissistic mothers are highly sadistic and are thrilled when they see the stark terror on their children’s faces and listen to them cry and scream for mercy.
Those who survive this kind of childhood deserve our deep respect. It is a marvel. I have discovered that many adult children of narcissistic mothers are incredibly compassionate, empathic individuals. They carry the burden of the emotional wounds of childhood which ways them down. They suffer greatly. And despite it all, many of them are determined to recover. They decide that they will learn about self care, self love, self entitlement. Many are helped by psychotherapy of different kinds, healing modalities like hatha yoga and meditation, prayer, support from loyal friends.
You have survived and will prevail.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.