Daughters of narcissistic mothers suffer horribly as young children and adults. Many of them don’t recognize that their mother was a narcissist until years into their adulthood. They believed the family story-what was told to them by mother. Mother was the center of attention in the household. She always got what she wanted from everyone, including her husband and children. When we grow up in this kind of family, it is what we believe. These daughters learn to fade into the woodwork or become their mother’s 24/7 servants, always at their disposal. Some daughters of narcissistic mothers idealize them, remembering how beautiful they were. They want to emulate their mothers and become just like them. They see the kind of attention that these women attract—they are always at center stage, getting all of the attention and praise. They believe they are special and treated that way. The little daughter is willing to take mother’s crumbs as long as she can maintain some semblance of a relationship with her. Often the father is marginalized very early and used as a prop for monetary and image reasons.
It isn’t surprising that as these daughters grow up and begin to find romantic partners that they would be beguiled by the narcissistic men. These charmers are masters at captivating women. As they speak their lines they are clever method actors who believe what they are saying. This is their role and they are playing it to the hilt. Many daughters of narcissists repeat the pattern of becoming deeply involved with another narcissist—a spouse. This is a psychological pattern of unconscious repetition. We go back to the familiar, what we learned early in our lives and normalized. I have communicated with many daughters who have repeated this pattern and awakened to see what they were doing—repeating the psychological abuse that was heaped on them as children. Many of these daughters recognize what they are doing, feel the full force of its negative psychological effect on them, educate themselves about the narcissistic personality and make the necessary break with the narcissistic spouse. As painful as a divorce can be and often is, they have decided that they will do anything they can to reclaim themselves and their lives. Now they are free to be emotionally and psychologically independent for the first time. They are taking full initiative with the direction of their lives, their relationships, the use of their creative gifts and the direction of their spiritual goals. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website, www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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