Narcissistic Mothers-Scapegoated Daughters

One of the most painful psychological themes that I am hearing is that of the scapecoated daughter of a narcissistic mother. The narcissistic mother is ruler of her children and her spouse. She is cold, insensitive, unempathic, manipulative, ruthless and conniving. One might ask: Why does a narcissistic woman have children? Not because she will love them but to use them as narcissistic supplies that provide her with endless bragging rights. Her children are props that swell her enormous ego like her fine jewelry, well cut suits, shoe collections, sexual conquests, career advancements, etc.

As little children these daughters suffer horribly. They are prisoners within their own homes. HIding in their rooms, crying alone, reading endlessly to fill their minds with anything but their mother’s screams, these daughters have no life of their own. Narcissistic mothers are highly intrusive. It is not unusual for them to secretly scour their daughter’s room when she is out or at school. She wants to know her secrets and then use them as ammunition for greater abuse. Narcissistic mothers can go in the other direction of ignoring their daughters altogether and leaving them completely unprotected. They prefer their boyfriends and women friends and the many parties they attend to their children. For a narcissist, a daughter is a burden unless she can be used. Some narcissistic mothers even use their daughters as male magnets for themselves. This is a perverse and highly immoral role some narcissistic mothers play. Their daughters become sexual bait. These mothers cross the line to sociopathy since they have no regard for their daughter’s psychological or physical safety.

The scapegoated daughter has a difficult time respecting herself. In some instances, other family members, grandmothers, grandfathers, fathers, aunts, nannies, babysitters, adult female friends can help to fill the void left by the narcissistic mother. Some daughters spend their lives repairing the psychological damage they have sustained. The palliative destructive answers of alcohol, drugs and sex can take daughters on lengthy detours that lead nowhere.

Many daughters find their way. using their intellectual and emotional intelligence to persevere and carve out a life for themselves. They find solace in education. I have known scapegoated women who worked by day and went to school at night for over twenty years to advance themselves. That is dedication and character. There are daughters who benefit a great deal from skilled psychotherapy. Through the therapeutic process,they recognize and feel the pit of their maternal loss, work it through and learn how to love and mother themselves. Psychological healing takes place all of our lives, whether we are seeing a therapist or not. We are the healer and the healed. We are the mother and the mothered. Ultimately, we are not our mothers; we are ourselves. Time for a victory lap! Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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