Sons and Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

I have been getting emails from sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers for a long time. These life stories are moving; they are filled with expressions of deep psychological pain experienced over many decades. In so many instances these children have suffered deprivation and psychological and emotional abuse of all kinds since they were small children. Narcissistic mothers cannot love their children. Some of these mothers appear to have a deep devotion to their child. In these cases the narcissistic mother finds certain qualities and talents in her child that can be developed to enhance her image and provide her with an unending source of bragging rights and narcissistic supplies. Having a gorgeous daughter, academically gifted son or daughter, standout athlete, pumps up the family image of perfection and high achievement. The narcissistic mother watches everyone turning to her as the source of such extraordinary progeny.

In this post I am speaking directly to those adult children of narcissistic mothers who are still suffering from the mother wound—the legacy of having a parent who is incapable of love, who cares only about herself and exploits and controls her children to satisfy her rapacious ego needs. I am reaching out to those who grew up in this highly dysfunctional and hurtful family constellation to stop blaming yourselves for the cruelties, coldness and traumas heaped upon you by your narcissistic mother. No matter what sacrifice you make, how many times you turn yourself inside out and relinquish the sanctity of your life, you cannot change your narcissistic parent.

What you can do is begin to recognize your own value as an individual who has endured and survived a very brutal childhood. Don’t expect most people to understand how deeply you have suffered. I find that very few individuals comprehend the pain of others unless they have consciously experienced deprivation and psychological pain in their childhoods and have worked hard with will and perseverance to unlock and heal these childhood traumas through quality psychotherapy or other healing modalities. You are no longer alone as you were as a small child at the mercy of a narcissistic mother. You now have options and pathways to transform psychological pain, to heal and move forward to lead the life that you deserve—-filled with insight, creativity, compassion, joy and inner peace. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

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