You grew up as a child of maternal deprivation. Your mother’s presence was neither loving nor protective. Early on you knew that Narcissistic Mama (or Mothering Figure) couldn’t stand your presence, even as a little child.
Psychiatrist and researcher Dr. John Bowlby created the term Maternal Deprivation to describe a mother’s lack of attachment and warmth toward her child communicated as cold dismissiveness and lack of empathy.
These children even when their physical and environmental needs are met, experience an existential sense that there is something fundamentally wrong with them—mother doesn’t love them and therefore they are horribly defective.
As adults some of these children feel guilt and shame, a deep sense of unease for being imperfect and letting mother down. They feel that they can never measure up no matter what they achieve professionally or personally.
As babies they looked into their mother’s eyes and discovered a void—a cold uncaring, dismissive “don’t come near me” revulsion.
Enter the high level narcissist, infused with magnetic charm, command of self, energetic, self-confident, charismatic. Children of narcissistic mothers become entranced with the high level narcissist. Their high energy, expanded egos, towering ambitions are compelling to the child of narcissistic maternal deprivation. They are spell bound, caught up in the romantic magic of the high level. They feel energized, hopeful about this new gambit.
Marriage and partnership with the high level narcissist is exciting in the beginning. The narcissist is on his or her very best behavior, winning the heart and mind of the partner.
After a short period of time, the narcissistic partner reveals their cruel, demanding, manipulative side. You experience the extreme controlling qualities of the narcissistic partner. Everything you do or say or even think is monitored and judged. You are the object of cruel, obnoxious projections frequently, of course, in private behind closed doors. You dare criticized, castigated for the smallest oversight or mistake. You are name called, unjustly accused and criticized.
You often now feel anxious, jumpy just waiting for the next volley of insults and recriminations. You develop chronic insomnia and digestive disorders. Why do you tolerate this horrendous treatment. In the back of your mind in the unconscious there is a part of you that still feels empty and unworthy and essential wrong and not enough.
You were traumatized as a small child and now you are being re-traumatized by your narcissistic spouse.
This is your time and opportunity for awakening to the true nature of the high level narcissist.
With deep insights and intuition and your research you become clear that you will move forward along your own pathway of recovery, transformation and the continued evolution of your true self.
Along the way you learn to be self entitled, deserving of inner peace, worthy of trust and warmth, the full use of your many creative gifts.
Practice self care: rest, sleep, movement/exercise, food, hydration, Nature.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.