You Can’t Fix A Narcissistic Mother

If you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother, you have worn yourself out, trying to make her different. She suffers from a severe, fixed personality disorder that does not change. Her lies, the terror that she inflicts, her psychological and emotional blows upon you are unconscious projections of her self hatred. This is not about you; it’s about her psychopathology.

Stop blaming yourself, if that’s what you have been doing since you were a child. Free yourself of guilt. If a brother or sister of yours has been treated since birth as a prince or princess, that’s because mother chose them to mirror her belief that she she is perfect. She aspired to create a clone of herself. Having a chosen brother or sister in the family makes life more painful. You were always compared with the perfect one and of course came up short. None of this is true but how could you have known when you were a smallchild. Now you know that this sibling is a full fledged narcissistic personality—another person you want to avoid and who has a complete lack of empathy.

We can heal and change our attitudes toward ourselves. We must develop self mercy and look at the small child inside of us who has suffered so much and soothe and give love to this little one. Great healing takes place by going into the calming mode in the nervous system. This is done in a variety of ways. Gentle yoga with emphasis on breathing through the nostrils brings a feeling of deep relaxation into the body/mind. Cardiovascular exercise (what works for you) removes obsessive thinking and brings us to a state of peace. Some people benefit from working with an excellent acupuncturist who facilitates your dropping down into the most restful state. Listening to calming music, sketching, journaling are all ways to switch us back to where you belong–in  a state of rest and peace.

8 thoughts on “You Can’t Fix A Narcissistic Mother”

  1. Comment: From: David
    This article speaks to me. I’ve recently broken off communication with my Mother because of her bomb throwing toward my wife. I caught her with her pants down because of a bomb she threw and when confronted about it she denied it happened. Since then – she has made me wrong for something she said or started. It is more comical than sad. My Sister is the sibling mentioned in this article. She now lives with my Mother. Thanks for this.

    1. It’s good to break off contact with a narcissistic mother David. She divides and rules siblings and family members and enjoys all the endless toxic drama, chaos, lies, confusion and of course attention – being a blood-sucking emotional vampire. I know because I have been exposed to this for years. I used to live with my toxic mother but have now left and cut off contact with her. For many years I tried very hard to help her, my father and the family as a whole, all to no avail – I now see it as a total waste of my time and energy and the cause of a lot of ongoing heartache and pain for me – these people do not change!!!

      Throughout my childhood she and our narcissistic father severely abused my brother and I and constantly compared and set us against each other. The maternal and paternal extended families were very different and were like warring factions – he was assigned to one side and I to the other, which was painful for both of us. In addition, my mother took him as her surrogate father/husband and emotionally abused him. I was emotionally and sexually abused by my father. We were both physically abused. He was the “golden child” and supposed favourite of my mother growing up, whereas I was the supposed “favourite” of my father.

      Their behaviour and the toxic family dynamics were very harmful. As children we were made to feel very different – constantly compared and set against each other in so many different ways. Our personalities, abilities and behaviour were supposedly very different and my brother was made to feel stupid and less intelligent, when he was actually very intelligent and had great potential. He was constantly criticised, prevented from developing, pursuing hobbies and interests of his own. He was physically abused and made to feel worthless. Later my education was part-funded, whereas my parents refused to fund his, despite my having repeatedly begged them to do so on a number of occasions. I now understand that this was all part of the divide and rule policy they operated and got sick pleasure from. They had the money to help, but deliberately chose not to. The fact that they refused to support his education succeeded in producing anger on his part and more resentment towards me, as the educationally favoured one. The intended result was more distance, resentment and division between us. I hate them for this!

      My brother eventually met a girl and married her, but they had nowhere to live and were struggling. Nothing was being done to resolve the situation, so I went to see my father and shouted at him to help them to buy them a house and he did – probably one of the only good things he did, although only after I shouted at him. My parents were separated and weren’t speaking at the time.

      Earlier this year my brother’s wife committed suicide. I worry that my mother might have caused this in some way, as she was in communication with them via letter and I know her to be very toxic and destructive in her communications and behaviour. She has nearly pushed me over the edge a number of times, which is why I have broken off contact with her. If she is implicated in this tragedy, then I would like her to be brought to account.

      I worry for my brother’s well-being. I love and care about my brother dearly and feel angry that our lives have been ruined in this way – we both struggle with severe mental health problems. I would love to see him, but understand that he does not want to see me because of all the painful memories.

      My advice to people with narcissistic parents – go no contact asap and don’t waste your time with such toxic life destroying people. They will never change!!!

  2. Comment:From Amelia
    I just want to thank you for your regular posts – they are so useful and helpful. I find that I ruminate almost constantly about the fact that I am now estranged from both my parents, and that even though they are no longer in my life in any ‘real sense’ – they still seem to exert power over me, and I find it hard to distract myself from those thoughts. I would like to be able to focus on my own life, and develop my creative side – which has been stifled previously by a narcissistic mother and a father who won’t rock the boat. It’s difficult to be estranged in this society, which judges such things without necessarily looking at the reasons why. Noone would make this decision unless it was a last resort – but sometimes it is important to try to live an authentic life of one’s own, and leave toxic environments and people behind. We only live once.

    I would very much value hearing how people cope with ruminating thoughts of guilt about being estranged from their parents. I like the suggestions you have made with regard to calming the body with yoga and keeping a journal etc. I’ll give some of those a go. Thank you so much for your supportive posts – they are amazing.

  3. Thank you for these affirming words. I am 39, no contact for 5 years but I would say I am early on my journey of emotional emancipation. I was well trained behind closed doors to believe it was me, it didnt matter, and my treatment was no different to anyone else. However, the part of my psyche which is in ruins and the memories and my observations are not lying to me. I also have had some recent validations from others who witnessed little snapshots of it. The power of those validations is incredible. There is still a part of me saying “for goodness sake, what are you whinging about?? Get on with it”, but this isn’t in my voice. It’s in hers.

  4. I am wondering how this plays out in the workforce. My highly successful boss has a golden child member of the staff she is working with. He can do no wrong. I disagree, not openly with many of his decisions. A member of the staff said that I should go the boss and tell her directly my concerns. I think this is a bad idea because it could easily turn me into a scapegoat. Secretly everyone else would like to tell her the same thing but they are too afraid. One of the senior members of her staff said I had a lot of currency with her because she chose me to work with and mentor, something she has never done before. She is a powerful woman but I am coming realize that she may have some narcissistic tendencies. I think my best bet is to learn as much as I can but not to confront the golden child because I believe it is a no win situation. I am also aware that I played the scapegoat in my own family. This woman admits to being cold and aloof. Somehow I can’t really believe that because she seems to care too much. Theoretically she could have brought me into be the scapegoat but maybe I am just being a little a paranoid. She is emotionally difficult to connect with and I think she is deeply afraid. However, there have been a few times where she has been really lovely. What do you think?/

  5. I think you are wise to stay away from the scenario of golden child dynamics. You know how it works and we are often unconsciously prone to attracting N’s. I once worked in an office where this happened and well before I became aware of NPD. It was a no win, no matter how nice the person can be, and be wary of that in itself.

    Thanks Linda on the advice to remember our inner child. I find that within there is that little child and the N mother’s voice at times. I shut up N Mother’s voice and attend to calming the child as she tries so hard to do the right thing. But it is a constant need to attend and I don’t believe the need will cease.

    As for leaving N parents and reclaiming oneself, I was so relieved to find out the name of the problem I felt no more guilt in separating from my family of origin. Scapegoat that I was. It was a relief to find that it wasn’t my fault. This is the mantra I often use to keep myself from falling back into the “if only…..” It wasn’t my fault !

  6. Hey there I’m 19 and have been dealing with my horrible mum for ages she takes everything away from me yesterday she has taken the boy I love by my hands cause we were meeting at the park for 10 minutes , she shouted at her and threatened him and his dad sating shed do horrible stuff if he continues seeing me …. now I think he has abandoned me and my mum doesn’t let me go out . She makes me feel guilty and hits me , but I also have nowhere to go , she scared everyone and no one would help me. I have no money too she took all of my money in case I try to escape , and I need to go and study at the university and she’s the only one that can pay for it ?? What shall I do?? Please help me it’s becoming sooo god damn unbearable

  7. It’s good to break off contact with a narcissistic mother. She divides and rules siblings and family members and enjoys all the endless toxic drama, chaos, lies, control, confusion and of course attention – being a blood-sucking emotional vampire. I know because I have been exposed to this for years. I used to live with my toxic mother but have now left and cut off contact with her. For many years I tried very hard to help her, my father and the family as a whole, all to no avail – I now see it as a total waste of my time and energy and the cause of a lot of ongoing heartache and pain for me – these people do not change!!!

    Throughout my childhood she and our narcissistic father severely abused my brother and I and constantly compared and set us against each other. The maternal and paternal extended families were very different and were like warring factions – my brother was assigned to one side and I to the other, which was painful for both of us. In addition, my mother took my brother as her surrogate father/husband and emotionally abused him. I was emotionally and sexually abused by my father. We were both physically abused. He was the “golden child” and supposed favourite of my mother growing up, whereas I was the supposed “favourite” of my father – being a “favourite” involved actual and/or emotional sexual abuse/incest.

    Their behaviour and the toxic family dynamics were very harmful. As children we were made to feel very different – constantly compared and set against each other in so many different ways. Our personalities, abilities and behaviour were supposedly very different and my brother was made to feel stupid and less intelligent, when he was actually very intelligent and had great potential. He was constantly criticised, prevented from developing, pursuing hobbies and interests of his own. He was physically abused and made to feel worthless.

    Later my education was part-funded, whereas my parents refused to fund my brother’s, despite my having repeatedly begged them to do so on a number of different occasions. I now understand that this was all part of the divide and rule policy they operated and got sick pleasure from. They had the money to help, but deliberately chose not to. The fact that they refused to support his education succeeded in producing anger on his part and more
    resentment towards me, as the educationally favoured one. The intended result was more distance, resentment and division between us. I hate them for this!

    My brother eventually met a girl and married her, but they had nowhere to live and were struggling. Nothing was being done to resolve the situation, so I went to see my father and shouted at him to help them to buy them a house and he did – probably one of the only good things he did, although only after I shouted at him. My parents were separated and weren’t speaking at the time.

    Earlier this year my brother’s wife committed suicide. I worry that my mother might have caused this in some way, as she was in communication with them via letter and I know her to be very toxic and destructive in her communications and behaviour. She has nearly pushed me over the edge a number of times, which is why I have broken off contact with her. If she is implicated in this tragedy, then I would like her to be brought to account.

    I worry for my brother’s well-being. I love and care about my brother dearly and feel angry that our lives have been ruined in this way – we both struggle with severe mental health problems. I would love to see him, but understand that he does not want to see me because of all the painful memories.

    My advice to people with narcissistic parents – go no contact asap and don’t waste your time with such toxic life-destroying people. They will never change!!!

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