Scapegoated Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers and Narcissistic Daughters

We would expect that a child would feel safe in her home. This is not the case with a child who has been put in the victim role by her narcissistic mother. Narcissistic mothers are completely absorbed with themselves. Many of them have children to enhance their image of having a perfect family. The work of raising, nurturing and protecting one’s child is expected and essential. The narcissistic mother often turns her daughter(s) over to babysitters or nannies when the child is very young, even an infant. She makes sure that friends and acquaintances believe that she is a devoted mother. She talks about her daughter, pretending that she is emotionally invested in her child. This is not the case. If one of her daughters has been chosen by mother as the special one, her treatment of this child is completely different. This daughter is privileged from infancy.Mother is fixated on this child who holds the promise of being a perfect replica of herself. Narcissistic mothers choose this special little girl for various reasons; physical beauty, mental brilliance, charm and magnetism that win people over.

Narcissistic mothers often rule the family. Father is present in name only. He is a fixture in his own house. Some of these fathers are workaholics and prefer to be away from home than to deal with the cold harsh temperament of this woman.

The narcissistic mother deals with her unconscious fury by projecting it on to a daughter whom she has picked as a scapegoat. It is not unusual for the victim to be a highly sensitive little girl. She has no defense against the ridicule, demeaning verbal assaults of these highly disturbed mothers. This situation can become more traumatic if the narcissistic mother and her narcissistic daughter join forces in the taunting and humiliation of this child. I have heard from adult daughters scapegoated in this manner. Their stories are heartrending. Many of them survive by entering the world of books, art, uses of the imagination. Some are fortunate to have a special friend whom they can visit often enough to take the psychological pressure off of them for short times.

Adult daughters who survive the narcissistic mother wars are incredible psychological warriors. Many of them experience symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome and spend years in the aftermath of these traumas and their efforts to heal. Individuals who have been through such a prolonged ordeal need our understanding and compassion. Many of them find their way to healing through support groups, participate in psychotherapy, work with healing modalities–gentle yoga, walking and sitting meditation, The deeper our understanding of the true nature of narcissistic mothers the better we are prepared to help ourselves in the process of healing from these highly pathological family constellations. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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