Narcissistic mothers are intolerant and disdainful of their daughter’s individuality from the beginning. Narcissistic mothers have the same psychopathological core but different styles of “mothering.” Putting this word in parentheses is meant to convey that these women are pseudo mothers. They are incapable of deep affection, emotional bonding or allow their child to be herself. They make every attempt to impose a false persona on their daughters. Narcissistic mothers are exceedingly cruel either through neglect or abuse or a combination of the two. The force of their lives is centered around themselves. Their daughters, if they are chosen for their intellectual gifts, beauty or talent, are molded to become perfect replicas of mother. They are forced to become puppets who will mirror back to the narcissistic mother her sublime image. Narcissistic mothers don’t permit their daughters to develop their own true identities. They are insensitive to their child’s special temperament and disposition. They have no understanding that they may have a daughter who is highly sensitive and intuitive. Narcissistic mothers often make fun of and deride the daughter who is finely tuned emotionally and psychologically and who is highly empathic. They tell this daughter she is weak; she needs to toughen up and be strong. She screams at her daughter:” You are too emotional. You are overly sensitive and react to everything that happens. What’s the matter with you? You cry about the smallest things; I’m beginning to think you have severe emotional problems–and on and on.
The chosen daughter gets all of the praise and adulation because she fits into the perfect narcissistic mother mold. As long as she stays in this role she is given the nicest room, lovely clothing, social opportunities—her mother’s perpetual blessings. In conversation the narcissistic mother always talks about this splendid “star” daughter “not the other ones.”
Unchosen daughters are either forgotten and often treated very abusively. Daughters of narcissistic mothres are always the target of their mother’s primitive unconscious projections. She pours her psychological venom on to them—nonstop.
Many of these daughters grow up not knowing who they really are. Mother has rejected them. Often the father is intimidated by the NM and when push comes to shove, he relinquishes his authority and steps in line with her because he fears his formidable wife.
Some of these daughters learn very early that mother doesn’t care about them even that she is hated; that she is being cruelly pushed aside. There are daughters who secretly maintain their true identities. They turn to books, to art, to writing, to journaling, to Nature to find respite and peace and to nurture and preserve the fire of their individuality.
These daughters are true heroes. Some of them find mentors and mother substitutes—other family members–aunts, grandmothers, teachers, mothers of friends to whom they can turn to share their true selves. These women listen, take them in, understand them and nourish them.
Some daughters of NMs leave home early to escape from this psychologically poisonous environment. They learn to chart their own course. They use their unique gifts. There is a small voice inside of them that says: ” You are a unique individual who deserves respect and understanding.” “I am not my mother; I am myself and I accept and love myself.”
Sometimes the ability to see themselves this way involves going through psychotherapy with an excellent clinician. The daughter of a narcissistic mother takes a journey back to the original self. There she discovers that her horizons are unlimited, that her creative gifts are intact, that she is capable of giving and receiving love and kindness and deserves to experience deep inner peace. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book:Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life