Children of Narcissistic Mothers-Objects to be Used

There are large numbers of children who were “raised” by narcissistic mothers. I use the word raised with question because these individuals are incapable of true mothering. Psychoanalyst Alice Miller describes the psychodynamics between the narcissistic mother and her child: “The child…was the narcissistically cathected object. What these mothers had once failed to find in their own mothers they were able to find in their children: someone at their disposal who can be used as an echo, who can be controlled, is completely centered on them, will never desert them, and offers full attention and admiration.” So many adult children of narcissistic mothers continue to play this role of servant and adorer throughout their lives. Every energy, gift, thought, sense of initiative is quashed by the narcissistic mother. They grow up knowing only that they survive by being and remaining attached, fused and loyal only to mother.

Some of these individuals awaken at some point in their development and recognize that they have been imprisoned in a psychological and emotional gulag. The walls of their psychological cells are thick with emotional brainwashing; their minds are taken over only by thoughts of what the narcissistic mother demands of them. They feel anger and frustration but that disappears when they are enveloped by the darkness and delusion of their mother’s hold on them. This is a tragic life course.

Some adult children through their own self analysis, psychotherapy, personal support groups, the working of their insights—discover that they deserve to be released from this nightmare of captivity. They awaken, shake themselves and start moving slowly toward healing and transformation. They expand the use of their creative energies and gifts that have been locked in cold storage. They begin to fledge with practice like a young eagle from branch to branch. They falter at times. But this is all part of self strenghtening. At some point they are ready to fly from the tallest tree in their environment. Now they feel entitled and deserving to become and manifest themselves both inside and in the world. They launch with strong wings that ride the winds, unstoppable and free now to participate in the beauty and meaning of their own lives. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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