When you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother you feel like you are screaming underwater and drowning at the same time. Many daughters don’t realize for years the truth about this woman who projects hatred on to you daily. If you are scapegoated among the siblings, your childhood is exceedingly harsh. You are at the mercy of a sadistic, cold mother. On the outside there are acquaintances and friends of hers that think she is the best human being on the face of the earth. She is so devoted to her children despite her outside career. She works constantly on this external image to make sure that everyone knows how wonderful she is.
Inside the home she is monstrous. Many of the narcissistic mothers literally beat their children. They make sure that the marks won’t show so there will be no obvious evidence of their cruelties. Other mothers try to annihilate their children mentally and emotionally. They pit one child against the other. They are cold and unexpressive. They never have a moment to speak to their daughter. They are always busy, rushing to work, spending evenings completely out of touch with their children. Some daughters idealize their mother as a way of surviving and keeping themselves protected from the truth of her nature. When we are little we must do what we have to for survival purposes.
There are daughters of narcissistic mothers who are always in conflict with her. They make efforts to stand up for themselves. But there is the narcissistic mother’s revenge. These daughters then become a constant target of scorn, recriminations and threats. Mother promises that she will help her daughter go to college and at the last moment she pulls out, saying that she simply can’t afford it. This is an all out lie. She has gotten her revenge. One of the reasons for the narcissistic mother’s horrendous cruelties besides her own self hatred is that she is exceedingly jealous of her daughter. Often she picks one daughter whom she targets for the worst abuse. I have known these daughters and they have weathered horrible abuse–daily intimidations and humiliations. She constantly undermines this daughter, telling her that she is ugly, that she smells, that no one is really her friend, that they are pretending to like her, that no one will ever want to marry her, that she is not bright enough to go to college, that she has no talents and on and on—endlessly undermining this child.
There are daughters of narcissistic mothers that say: “enough” and leave their households early. This is very difficult but they find other family members who can be of some assistance. Sometimes families of their friends provide them with support. And then there are daughters that do it all on their own. They leave home, find a job, work hard, find ways to educate themselves and become independent.
Whatever stage of dealing with your narcissistic mother you are in, I congratulate your courage and fortitude. You know the truth. You are a fine human being. Your mother is a severe personality disorder. You have prevailed. You are free. Fly and glide like the Monarch butterflies who complete their migration over three generations and thousands of miles–so beautiful so determined, so wonderful.
To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life