Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Suffer Maternal Deprivation

Maternal deprivation is the absence of care, lack of affection, holding, looking into your child’s eyes giving the message: “I love you do much”,  listening intently to your daughter’s messages, verbal and nonverbal.  The narcissistic non mother removes all the joy from her daughter’s life. Narcissistic mothers live for themselves alone. Often they are envious of their daughter’s beauty, talents, intelligence, exuberant personality. They hate their child’s spontaneity and pick away with their nasty criticisms. Some daughters learn to conceal their true feelings. Others become emotionally numb. Some harbor a deep mother rage inside that they turn on themselves and becomes self loathing. 

Daughters of narcissistic mothers have difficult life struggles, learning to fully love their unique selves and celebrating it. 

To break the yoke attached to the narcissistic mothers they must recognize that they bear no fault.

They are separate from the cold ungiving selfish self absorbed woman who didn’t raise them. These daughters do the hard work of healing themselves and emerging as strong, loving, gifted women. Many benefit from psychotherapy, nurturing relationships with friends who understand them, spiritual practices that create calmness deep within them,creative pursuits that are healing and transformative, giving their care and affection to others who feel unloved and unwanted. 

Daughters of narcissistic mothers can and do come fully into the own true identities. They can prevail over the past and live fully in the present, expanding and growing all of their potential.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

36 thoughts on “Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Suffer Maternal Deprivation”

  1. Comment from Janice


  2. Comment from Bets
    I couldn’t agree more .
    After finally having an answer to the empty pit I have carried around my entire life , the clouds are clearing and I’m acknowledging that lost little girl who has been through hell and has come out through the other side into peace and hope .
    I look forward to your blogs of clarity and honesty!
    The truth will set you free and not until you believe that will you be able to claim your life back .
    I am learning to let my voice be heard and it seems to be getting louder and more clear every step I take. I will not ever live in the dark again.
    I will be honest , it’s not an easy journey , but one well worth the struggles to get to your true self .
    That little lost girl has found love and protection within herself . My eyes have been opened to the light and bask in it everyday .
    The emotions , good and bad , still come in waves . That is part of the journey we must endure .
    Thank you for your guidance and encouragement . You have made the load much lighter to carry .

  3. Comment:From Sooty
    (I’m a son, not a daughter…)
    ‘Empty pit’… how -apt- that term is. Sometimes I feel that I have been so successful in escaping from that place, but although I believe that I have found a wonderfully human soul within myself, it still haunts me.

  4. Comment:From Jo
    Thank you for the beautifully direct and simple way you communicate this most difficult and complex subject. I find the clarity in which you write gives meaning to my challenges and a sense of hope that all is not lost, whatever age you find yourself dealing with an unloving mother. Bless you.

  5. Comment: From Liz
    I watch my beautiful 6 year granddaughter wait and wait for her mother’s acceptance and love, to no avail. Her anxiety levels grows daily; yet her mother cannot see the damage she is causing. Thank you so much for these articles. Thankfully, her father is a very calm, loving man who loves his 2 daughters with all of his heart. a solid and loving relationship. my question: how can I help my precious granddaughter learn to love herself?

  6. Comment:Rosaleen
    Hi Liz. I am watching the treatment of my precious 6 year old granddaughter at the hands of her selfish uncaring mother and spoke to my son today about. He was willing to listen to me but i think he is brain washed

  7. Comment:From Amy
    I was just having this conversation with my husband about my uncaring, unfeeling, unloving, cruel, oblivious mother. Mothers want their children to find true happiness in this life. They want their children to be independent and strong-minded. My mother took away my path in this life and everything I loved in it. I was passionate about so many artistic and athletic interests…and the man I loved most of all…and she destroyed them all so that I would stay with her. She tortured me mentally. Now, 30 years later, now that I am happily married to another man and have 5 beautiful, amazing children, I am plagued with sadness over how she killed me spiritually. I’ve moved on, but the memory and triggers pull me back to a time that was devastating. I raised myself which was ok, but how I wish my mother could have been a person who just loved me and let me live. Now that she is older, she is very sweet to me, but my insides do not let me fall for her love anymore…I will never forget when she abandoned me when I really needed my mom.

  8. Comment:From VPE
    This year I did not visit my mother on mother’s day. My sister was visiting again, and I knew that things would be uncomfortable for me. You can say they have a unique relationship together, they could be twins as far as personality go. Hadn’t spoken to my sister in over 6 months because I was so done with her bully like behavior after our last conversation. So she decided to call me on mother’s day to talk about stuff. She didn’t call me last week or last month but waited for MDay to reach out to me again. I was looking forward to a peaceful day with my kids but instead had to endure another episode with her. It seems the more I attempt to keep my distance the more she’s pursuing me some how.

  9. Oh how I can relate to the other comments on here!
    I’m 35 years old, married with kids, and my uncaring mother still has such an effect
    On me; and not in a good way.
    Long story short, her latest snub is nit being able to come out and
    Help me with the kids while I’m suffering with the flu and pnemonia because she has
    A hair appointment..yes, she said that. The list goes on but my stunted growth as a successful adult is directly a result of her self absorbed , could not care less ways. I feel for all of you, I really understand!

  10. Dear VPE
    I am in therapy at the moment, also because I have a mother who seems to despise me. I am also ashamed to say that, although my mother mentally and emotionally abused me, she also turned me into a bully against my sister. I was too young to understand. I don’t know which is worse.. Actually usin one daughter as a pawn against the other (as this has left me feeling terribly guilty now) or the pain my sister went through. Our mothers are jealous people and worked very hard to divide and conquer, so that we would not have strong relationships with our siblings, so that we could not turn against our mothers. They are also just purely jealous of us having happy relationships with anyone, be it your friends, boyfriend or sister. I believe your sister needs to go and see someone as she is just not seeing it for what it is. Also, as in my case, I tried to e on my mothers side because I was so afraid of her. I know your sister is an adult now, and she needs to really understand what she has done, you must also remember that she is ultimately also a victim of your mothers twisted ways. If she can’t see it and go and go for psychotherapy, then it is in my opinion best to distance yourself, as I have done with my family.

  11. Janice hi,

    I have so much gratitude for your post which really opened my eyes to the situation you are in and I am in as well. I am 45 and am still continuing to put up with my evil 84 year old abusive, ruthless, narcissistic mother. You are so right the older they get the eviler and meaner! I’ve been told by a therapist to not have contact with her but like you I stay in contact due to monetary reasons. It’s pure psychological torture and the most horrific kind of abuse that people just can’t fathom. Is there anyway I could contact you by email? Having someone to chat with in the same situation is crucial for healing and support. I can’t live like this anymore it’s time to disconnect & tell her to go to hell where she belongs! I’m trying desperately to escape and go no contact. I too am anticipating my mothers passing and have been since I was 15. I suffer from anxiety and depression and can’t hold a job or any relationships. Damaged forever..

  12. So spot on the description of my upbringing. So well stated, exactly how it was for me, a little different for my gc sister. How hope so much you’re just as spot on about coming fully to my true identity. I have been so confused about that, I really hope for that to happen.

  13. God bless all of you with peace and understanding. My lost cold hearted mother loves to watch Holmes struggle. She hates to see me happy. She goes out of her way to criticize. Me. I feel so sorry for her. It took me a few year to get here after I found out the damaged she caused. But because of the pain I endured, I am able to love unconditionally. That is the purpose of this beautiful life God has granted. Everyone has trials and tribulations…get thru them. Pray for strength..and understanding. They day you can look and laugh at your mom snide cold remarks then hug her and go your love filled peace filled life…is heaven in its self. Endure. There is a beautiful end, I promise daughters of God. We were chosen to love unconditionally. The kingdom of heaven is at hand!!

  14. My non mother died in March of this year. She was 93 years old. Throughout the 62 years of my life, she tried to drain every bit of happiness out of me. She was extremely abusive and even tried to hire me out for sex when I was a teenager. The lowest thing she did was let one of her boyfriends sexually abuse my two little girls. I would have nothing to do with her for years, and then she would act like the victim to the rest of the family and they would brow beat me to let her back into my life. I can honestly can say that I would have been totally lost if not for God. I finally found love and acceptance with Him. I am proud of the person I have become and the loving relationship I have with my children and grandchildren. There is always hope!

  15. Can anyone explain to me why the narcissistic mother will hate one daughter but not the other?

  16. Hi Peggy,

    I’m sorry for all the pain you have gone through and I think we have spoken before. You had told me you had to stay with your mom because of monetary reasons is that right? And you gave me advice to run like hell when I am able to financially. I’m working on that I have found part time employment from home and am studying a subject so I can start my practice soon. How do you feel now that your mom is no longer alive? What kind of mother would let her boyfriend sexually molest your children? Discipable! Karma will get her.
    I remember writing you a few months ago do you remember me? Anyway, how are your children doing today? And how are you doing? You must feel a huge relief, I would. I’m glad you no longer have to suffer from psychological torture and can live your live in peace and have tranquility. So very happy for you!

  17. Anastasjia, thank you so much for your kind words. It has been bittersweet since my mom died. On one hand, it is so much of a relief because I had to visit her regularly at her rest home and it was painful to be around her. On the other hand, it’s very sad that she couldn’t or wouldn’t be the kind of mother and grandmother we needed.
    How are you doing? What is your story?

  18. Hi Peggy!

    How are you doing? I hear that so many times from people who have lost their abusive parents that it is a relief. I don’t know how I would feel although there are times I wish she wasn’t alive due to all the psychological abuse. Do you miss her at all?

    My mother is a typical maternal narcissist never shows it in public it’s difficult but she is my only family and I have to rely financially on her. She told my extended family that I was crazy and had mental issues so they won’t talk to me. She also never told me who my biological father was until I confronted her. I turned to alcohol, drugs, and overdosed. I suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, I’m doing workshops from Dr. Karyl McBryde and joining forums as these for help. There are many on Facebook very good ones that are helpful. I’m in recovery from drugs & alcohol today have 19 weeks sober. She is a huge trigger so I avoid all contact but have to speak by email with her. They will never change I accepted that and also have an online therapist who helps me.

    It’s never an easy life for those of us who have mothers who suffer with maternal narcissism. In fact, it’s lethal. I pray all the time and go to church and wish for a normal life with a husband and children. I’m glad your horror is over but it will stay with us I’m sure. Thanks for contacting me and caring..

  19. Anastasjia,

    I know it is so hard to find your way through this. It is something we have to battle during our lives. I have PTSD because of my mom too, but also because of some of the bad decisions I have made. The thing that has saved me from giving up completely is my faith in God. If you haven’t asked Jesus into your heart yet, please do. He is the loving parent we never had and you can tell Him anything. Pour out your heart to Him.

  20. I am you.. all of you. I’m an unloved unwanted daughter.. what scares me is, have I become this wicked hate filled woman. Having four adult.children, I keep a bit of distance from, because I know they to suffered not knowing.which mommy would.show up.. which I’m not sure is any better than the same as well as my own mom just simply not involving/investing herself

  21. She didn’t belittle DorourDoren.. she just wouldn’t talk to look at our entertain me. She said she never wanted kids, the same phase I’m guilty of spewing. And when I ran, she almost encouraged me.. I was 17 then.. the same age my daughter was when she ran.. now at 25 I find myself reliant on her four a couch to sleep on, she has been embarrassingly disrespectful even violent, yet because of fear of incarceration and living under a bridge, I bite my lip. I worked and next well will be on own, and now ok ready and anticipating running again, only I created that monster, not intentionally, any advice

  22. Hi everyone! I have been reading this article as I feel quite hopeless and angry at life today. I wasnt raised by my mother because she left me when I was a little child. Since then I had to listen to everyone in my family that I was the sad little girl whose mother “left her”. I since then developed extreme self-pity for myself and still suffer from some form of personality problems. I have trouble controlling my emotions and have been on anti depressants for the past four years now and I’m only 22 yrs old. I had to skip going to college although I got admission into a University in New York at 18. I dropped out after three days of going in because I got so depressed I was about to kill myself and was then referred to a “psychiatrist’. Since then my hope and self confidence have even taken a further downfall and now I’m just unsure about what fate is going to bring me. I have a father who was very pampered by his sisters and so he always asked them to raise me when my mom left me. he didnt realize that he should have taken a divorce and married someone who could at least give me a ‘mother figure’ to show to the world. Since I do not have any siblings, I feel more lonely than Ii would have if I had any. Now she is 65 and dad is 68 and they are living together (with me) and I cant live with my aunt anymore (who raised me) because my mother black-mails my father saying that she stole her child away from me.

    I am stuck in a situation where my own mother has become like an evil step mother (she always neglected me as a child too) and I have no choice because my father wants to keep her. What should I do? How long will be stuck and dependant on these anti-depressants.

    My aunt who raised me loves me very much and always did care for me like a good mother and father could because she was very gentle and caring. But I’m not allowed to meet her or live with her. What should I do? I won’t end my life, as I used to think before that I should, for such a bitch and an asslicking asshole that my dad has become. They’re not worth it.

    My aunt who raised me has lost so much weight and is so depressed now since she saw me going though such an emotional turmoil and dropping out of college and being on psychiatric medication to heal my damaged nervous system.

    I need some emotional support at the moment and I wont take it from my aunt for now because that bitch who gave birth to me will tell my dad about it and then they both will haunt me with their manipulating dialogues.

    Can someone please help me deal with such a situation. I feel so nervous that I’m talking about the people who are my birth parents but what can I do, I feel so damaged and heart-broken and I cant even tell my friends because they have loving and caring motherrs who were actually there for them the whole time.

  23. Anna,

    I can only suggest a couple things that might help.

    You feel bereft. You are grieving for what you never had. You have the unfortunate sadness of parents who did not give you what you needed to grow up. Who failed to recognize your needs.

    Nobody deserves that. But it happens to a lot of people. I would like to suggest a YouTube video “Back From the Edge – Borderline Personality Disorder”. It is by New York Presbyterian Hospital. Maybe you do not have BPD. I think the video is very good for any struggling young person to watch. Just do a google search and it should come up.

    You are 22 years old. You are an adult. Would your parents kick you out if you saw your aunt?

    It sounds like this woman loves you more than she loves herself. There are many people in this world who never get that kind of love. Consider yourself lucky.

    I would call my aunt and tell her how thankful I am for her. I don’t know if you can do that and still live with your parents. But if your aunt is hurting this much over things, she really, really needs to know you still love her. She deserves at least that for what she gave you.

    Plus, you need be free to love someone who loves you. And I feel bad your parents do not recognize your affection for your aunt. That’s a hard place to be. But not impossible. Just let her know you love her and nobody will ever make you stop loving her. Then, if you are in therapy, tell the therapist you really need your parents to let go. They can’t prevent you from being in contact with someone you love. Maybe the therapist can help them realize these things.

  24. Anna,

    I am so sorry honey and I truly do understand. Narcissistic Mothers (Father’s) are also referred to as “Emotional Vampires” as she will destroy every thing you are including your soul. I know because my mother is pure Evil. I now suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and just want to die. I didn’t know about this mental disorder of my mother who has destroyed my life and made horrible lies up and alienated me from every family member. I am much older than you, but your story has me crying my eyes out because my son, the love of my life, is your age. He has suffered so much having a mother with PTSD who just wants to die. I can help and guide you OUT OF THIS EVIL CYCLE FOR GOOD! You can only change your future and that is the rest of your life and you are so young don’t let them have your destiny. Send me a friend request on Facebook (I live in Las Vegas and come from Stoneham, MA so you should easily find my profile. Then I can Private message you the help I have been receiving. Isolation which is what I have done to myself is like death. Please don’t let them take your young beautiful future away from you. YOU OWE HER NOTHING! XO

  25. I just wanted to share the email I sent this morning to my Narcissistic mother who has abused me (along with my sister who is her partner in crime) forever. It’s taken SUFFERING beyond words, severe PTSD, anxiety disorder, and dangerous depression. My mother actually tried to kill me and today I was able to stand up for myself and REMOVE HER FOREVER from my life. The content is strong and so am I now because she deserved every word and then some. Today God granted me peace and I don’t care or want to know when she passes. She is Dead as of today and I escaped at 53 years old with my beautiful soul still in tact. The heart broken, but with counseling I pray I can repair it….

    Here is the article listing all the characteristics
    of narcissistic mothers

    It’s about secret things. The Destructive Narcissistic Parent creates a child that only exists to be an extension of her self. It’s about body language. It’s about disapproving glances. It’s about vocal tone. It’s very intimate. And it’s very powerful. It’s part of who the child is. ~ Chris

    (Just click on the + symbol to read each of the characteristics of narcissistic mothers in turn)

    1. Everything she does is deniable
    2. She violates your boundaries
    3. She favoritizes
    4. She undermines
    5. She demeans, criticizes and denigrates
    6. She makes you look crazy.
    7. She’s envious
    8. She’s a liar in too many ways to count.
    9. She has to be the center of attention all the time.
    10. She manipulates your emotions in order to feed on your pain.
    11. She’s selfish and willful.
    12. She’s self-absorbed.
    13. She is insanely defensive and is extremely sensitive to any criticism.
    14. She terrorized.
    15. She’s infantile and petty.
    16. She’s aggressive and shameless.
    17. She “parentifies.”
    18. She’s exploitative.
    19. She projects.
    20. She is never wrong about anything.
    21. She seems to have no awareness that other people even have feelings.
    22. She blames.
    23. She destroys your relationships.
    24. As a last resort she goes pathetic.

    I actually saw the jealousy and envy at the Presidio House. What did you ever accomplish in your entire life? Except ruining other people’s lives. Then your’e calling MY HUSBAND before I moved to Vegas. I know why Sandy and all your friends turned on you…they expected this horrible daughter and met ME. I was warned, but I already knew. I owe you 13 years of misery! I’ll make sure you’re remembered how you always were and go out! I turned on Will without even knowing what he was saying about me. Do you really know what people think of you (and your Lori)? They say who the fuck does this to their own daughter? You can deny my PTSD, but you can’t deny the EVIL in you because they all saw it here. All you do is talk about people behind their back and you think whoever you’re talking to can’t see through you? NO ONE LIKES YOU OR TRUSTS YOU SICKO!!! That is how you’re leaving this world (I’ll play your video of EVIL) as a Ugly Narcissistic Mother! You’re a JOKE and Pathetic! This has been a gift from GOD because all the pain and suffering and the WHY has turned to “who cares” as long as I never have to see your face or hear THAT voice again as long as I live! THANK YOU for setting me free FOREVER! NO ONE will EVER contact you should I pass before your UGLY SOUL, but I don’t care and wouldn’t accept a call from Your Family. You’re already DEAD and I feel NOTHING, but RELIEF! Sorry, but I won’t be seeing you on “the other side” either because we are going to different places. YOU LOSE WITCH! I’LL TAKE PTSD ANY DAY TO BEING AN EVIL, UGLY TROLL! GET HELP…NEVER MIND YOU’RE BEYOND HELP AND WHAT YOU HAVE IS ALL YOU’LL EVER HAVE! YOU’RE TRULY NOT A LIKABLE PERSON AND TRUST…NEVER! I just had to get this out before you croak.My therapist threw up in her mouth watching you on the video (my concerned mother)! Barf!

    p.s. Did you know that for 30 plus years Route 128 Oldsmobile has you as “The Biggest Bitch Mary Anderson” in their history on a wall. They paid you to GET LOST!

    Patricia M. Zipper
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  26. I read the pain in the notes before and as I struggle with my own issues, must conclude that most parents are not evil or vacuous by nature but a parent self-centered in their youth is unlikely to shift pattern to become other focused and generous as they age. Unfortunately, quite the opposite is likely as personality traits tend to be enhanced as we age and other coping skills are diminished. Such is hard for a young person seeking to define themselves. Boundaries is the word that comes to my mind. I cite this word in the plural form for this must be a multi-layer construct. The Narcissist gives boundaries no heed. It is paramount that each child, male or female, set their boundaries. This must be done directly, without emotion, and sustained against all attempts to dissuade. This must be a logical, thoughtful endeavor, with anticipated attempts to nullify that which has been erected. Indeed, emotion is the key the narcissistic parent will employ to breech the construct. Guilt will be their wedge. Give it no room to dissuade your determination. You are doing what is best for both of you. Stay resolute with the boundaries you have set.

  27. Thank you so much for sharing this article. I am 43 and only recently discovered (through my fabulous therapist) that my mother is a narcissist….finally it all makes sense! All these years i believed that there was something so fundamentally wrong with me and now i know there isn’t…..its her! All the ways ive tried to fix myself or fill the void inside of me and there was nothing to fix, the void is my lack of self love which i am so determined to change. My emotions are going crazy…happiness, fear, anger, sadness, elation, complete overwhelm, hope (there’s something ive never had before) and i can see the road ahead is most definitely uphill, but this is it….ive dealt with the abandonment of my father and sexual abuse of my step father, so im damn well gonna deal with the emotional abuse and neglect of my mother and FINALLY find out Who I Am! And yes i am terrified but i also know how capable i am, we all are, we have survived so much already, we can do this. Love and light to everyone out there who is going through this….we shall overcome <3

  28. Im really stuck at present.. Im 41.. My story is much the same as you all. with.I cut ties with my mother several years ago after just not being able to take the hurt anymore. ii was also sexually abused and have had no supportive family. no one to go to for anything… I met my husband when I was 16 and its just been us…We lovingly raised 3 children ..I spent many years working on my self spiritually and mentally trying to find myself Its only been in the last 6 months that I have realised that I have a big problem.. One that I was absolutely blind too.. but has been sitting here all this time.. what she has done to me has affected who Iam .. how I think, behave , perceive .react, realtionships. everything… I was never nurtured and.Im missing something..I dont know what it is or how to get it..but most other females have it.. and it makes me insecure right away.. I have never been able to have close relationships with other women.. and always felt very different.. Now that Im realising I have a problem, that Im not who I think Iam.. my world has been turned on its end.. Im so scared to look at the problem for the hurt is so great..I thought that if I just kept going..I would move past it.. but its still there.. and rears its ugly head without warning through anger or emotional outburts. My husband is also wounded from being violently raped when he was a child. so he is not able to give me the attention and love that I crave like an angry child as he is unable to express it at present.. We have both healed each other over the years as much as we can..and our problem became more obvious now that the kids have all grown and moved out and its just us again..
    Please does anyone have any advice on what I can do to move through this..I have accepted what has happened and I just want to be a happy me..

  29. To Cindy,
    I can really understand that agony of not really ever having had a family. My mother, who is deceased now for twenty years, was bipolar and probably had personality disorders, was extremely abusive. My father molested me and is basically a very selfish person. My sister is a horrible, brutal narcissist, of whom I no longer have contact with. Fortunately, I have a loving husband and two great children, who ultimately saved me from myself. But I still find myself feeling like something is missing. I am continually seeking female relationships that can give me the nurturing and unconditional love I never got from my mom. But I am so insecure and so self-loathing, and needy I think I end up pushing them away and I end up not being able to form close relationships. This, of course, only makes feel even worse about myself and jealous of other women with close female friends.
    I am also emotionally unstable, fluctuating between anxiety and depression and my poor family suffers. My husband, though loving, had his own bad childhood and is somewhat emotionally unavailable. I’ve tried therapy to try to obtain some sort of inner peace and rid myself of the anger I feel about all the unfair things that happened to me, but it seems to end up being a more temporary fix. Distraction, like my kids, or a job, seem to work better for me in regards of my wanting to obtain sanity. But often, though I am very grateful for all the good things in my life, I feel like a big black hole of need.

  30. Hi, Cindy. Have you sought professional help? I think that’s a first step; I have done it. I’ve tried spiritual changes in my life, which have helped a lot, but w/ a psychologist, things are put in better perspective since they have studied a lot about human conduct & emotional areas in our lives.

  31. I did leave my mother after many years of abuse and mental torture. She always used my father to hurt me (because he wasn’t there for her and I look like him). She did find me (2000 miles away) and contacted my friend to tell her not to be my friend. She did this after learning that I had attempted suicide for the 2nd time. I did try to die but it didn’t work. I tried to tell myself that it’s because God wants me to live. I don’t know why I did and think sometimes I did die. I know it sounds impossible, but I am alone, my family is gone,. I am nowhere. I am going to therapy for ptsd , anxiety and depression. I find it difficult.

    I find it very difficult to just release my mom. She is alive. She raised me and worked to put a roof over my head. I want to love her but she wont let me, she wont love me back. I had a dream last night that she came to where I was and gave me money to pay rent but would not even spend the night. I woke up crying. I don’t want money, I want her. That’s just the truth. I don’t feel it’s healthy to hate my mom just because she is not well. I want her to get well. I want her to get therapy, I want her to be happy because I love her nomatter what she says or does. God doesn’t want us to hate our parents. He wants us to honor them, hide their shame and be loyal. The things she says to me hurt me on a level that is intolerable at times but to hear people call their mothers evil is just as bad to my ears. I pray for death. Living like this is hell. I don’t want to be in hell. To put it out there… I love you mom. I love you with all my heart and soul and I pray that you will find happiness and then find me. Amen

  32. Joy deprivation is the way I’ve always described it too.

    My entire childhood was characterized by emotional numbness. I was so stripped of what makes us innately human that I dared not smile, cry, express happiness, sadness, shame, or anything else – no matter what the situation, no matter how correct it would have been.

    Like prey being hunted, the safest place for me was total calm and quiet. I would completely shut down, motionless and emotionless. With a gravely wounded ability to trust, I learned to safely fade away and blend in with the scenery. Ironically, however, that too would enrage my narcissistic mother as her goal was to ellicit pain to feed her source of perverse pleasure. It was the classic Catch 22; non-reactions generated the same torrents of yelling, screaming, hitting, name calling and put-downs as reactions.

    I never realized this until I was almost 30, but when I was asked to produce a baby photo, I discovered that no such thing existed – not a single one. The first photo of me was at 4 years of age. All the ones after that, of which there are precious few, were group shots – no singles. And not a single one, no matter what the occasion, contained a smile or even the faintest hint of joy. My glaze was consistently empty.

    Despite a childhood of abuse and neglect, I’m proud to say that I forged my way out of hell. The likelihood of college for me was next to zero, but I managed to tap into a hint of self-worth that I never realized I had. I worked and worked and worked to make it happen, and I succeeded. College was my turning point.

    With no experience upon which to draw, I slowly learned to make friends and let a few carefully chosen people into my sphere. To this day, I have few close friends, but the ones I have, I’m lucky to have for life.

    By now, I wish I were able to say I’ve been able to experience unadulterated joy at least once in my life, but I’m still not there yet. Joy is still a guarded experience, but my quest continues. My past will always be a part of me, but I will never allow it to hijack my future or my relationships. I refuse to turn into my narcissistic mother.

  33. To Maria February 9, 2016

    You expressed yourself well here and I sympathies with every word because it very much describes my own situation. And to all who came here sharing your experiences, may God bless every single one of you. As long as you call it ‘today’, you have it. The love they withhold is the pain they carry.

  34. I think the hardest part for me is no one understands what is feels like to never really know love from the person who is suppose to love you the most. People often judge and family pushes it under the rug when you express the feelings that you honestly cannot say you love your mother. They say to forgive but how can you forgive years of emotional abuse and never hearing that your pretty or look beatiful. The words that should come out of every mothers mouth. Just a simple hug to know that everything will be alright that you never seem to get. The times when you emotionaly struggle and need guidance but instead you get a presant to push it under the rug and make her feel better. Jealousy noted to the relationship with the parent you did have your father. Constantly making you guilty for the love that you have for him. People do not understand why you do not feel that emotional bond and try to make you guilty for even stating that you do not love your mother. How can you build a bond with someone when they never built it with you? Instead made you feel empty and unloved. I remember once coming home and my father begging me not to go out because my mother emotionally challenged him while I was gone-nagging at him so much that he could not control his anger when I got home. Never could understand how a mother could be a cheer leader to a childs being whipped with a leather belt. I have empathy for all the children out there that feel this way because people are so quick to judge without walking in your shoes. My heart goes out to all the have dealt with a mentally challenged parent because it is often put back on them that somehow they messed up and you should love them no matter what. Forgiveness is something that is earned and how can you forgive someone when they do not the acknowledge the pain they caused you? I realize that mental illness is something that you cannot control but the hurt and pain can overshadow forgiveness and fill your heart resentmant. Someday when she is gone I will be able to forgive when I dont have the constant reminder of how selfish and unforgiving she can be.

  35. Hello Caroline,
    I think this is an integral part of her narcissism. It makes her feel superior to engulf and lean toward one daughter, and not another, as a type of hurtful revenge. This fuels the fire in her spiteful heart. She pretends to love one daughter most, in order to inflict her wrath upon the other. She loves the push and pull effect it causes and thrusts her fangs into the ‘hated’ daughter like a snake, in order to inject her venom deep into the the soul of the most hated one. She really is all about herself so it is not either daughter’s fault. It is just the way she causes an influx of pain upon someone. That is the pain she causes, of course, to anyone but herself. In conclusion, the ‘hated daughter’ is probably a very good daughter in all reality, so therefore, the narcissistic mother sets out to ruin her life.

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