Maternal psychological attachment is the secure, loving bond that the mother forms with her baby. This provides the child with a feeling of safety and predictability. Mother becomes the child’s psychological home base. Narcissistic mothers do not bond with their children. They are incapable of forming a genuine relationship. Their focus is on themselves. They may go through the motions but their feelings are not invested in their infant. In some instances if the narcissistic mother has chosen a particular child to use as a narcissistic supply then she will become a puppet in the mother’s hands.
Daughters of narcissists talk and write about how coldly and dismissively they were treated as children and adults. Mother was the Queen Bee; she always came first. She had no way of attuning to the needs of her child. Being a mother was an encumbrance to her, a burden. Some narcissistic mothers are so cruel and vain that they were sorry they ever had children who kept their figure from remaining perfect or took time away from their personal enjoyments, trips, shopping, professional advancement.
As a result daughters of narcissistic mothers have not bonded with their mothers. Some of them find that their father is the one to whom they can attach. Others look to siblings who serve in the maternal role. Others have no one and simply grow up psychologically on their own. They may have every material advantage in the world but they don’t have a real mother.
Lack of maternal attachment can cause problems with daughters later on in their intimate relationships. They tend to pick men who are not protective of them, who are unstable and abusive. They don’t feel worthy of being in a relationship with someone who is capable of loving them.
There are daughters of narcissistic mothers who are capable of attaching to others and forming deep relationships. This is often possible through the hard work they have done with themselves and through excellent psychotherapy. Part of the healing here is in recognizing that your mother was incapable of psychological attachment, that this was not a reflection of your worthiness or value as an individual and that you are highly capable of loving other human beings deeply. You are not your narcissistic mother. You are yourself–a unique wonderful human being. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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