Narcissistic mothers often have an iron hold on their sons. These mothers appear to adore their sons over their daughters an shower them with all of the attention and adulation. There are sons of narcissistic mothers who become narcissists and the two of them are fused in a highly pathological and destructive psychological duo.
Those sons who are not narcissistic have a rough time of it. They feel their mother’s narcissistic claws at the ready to get a hold of them and not let go until she possesses them. Narcissists believe that everything belongs to them, including their children,with whom they can fuse, neglect or discard. The narcissistic mother demands her son’s attention. She cannot be attuned to her child but rather is bent on molding him into what she believes is another replica of her perfect self. These sons are both intimidated and feel deep hatred of a so-called mother who blocks their way toward psychological independence, the fulfillment and promise of their masculinity and the use of the potential and appreciation of their individuality. Some sons feel obligated to the narcissistic mother and spend much of their lives trying to please these impossible creatures. This interrupts the natural growth of the child and young adult. Often the father in these families is psychologically weak and emasculated. That is why the narcissistic mother has chosen him—someone whom she can fully control, manipulate and deceive.
Men psychologically possessed by their narcissistic mothers have difficulty with emotional intimacies. Unconsciously, they belong to mother. How can they give themselves to a partner when they cannot be separate from her. There are sons who make the break from their narcissistic mothers. It can be a tough battle. The NM infuses guilt. She is a drama queen, insisting on her way despite the psychological damage that is incurred by her son. Some sons remain pleasers and feel guilty if they don’t fulfill their mother’s wishes. Inside they are torn between deep feelings of obligation and enraged that they are still umbilically tied to their NM.
Those who achieve the separation are freed to feel and express their uniqueness, to use their individual potential in every way, to be creative, to activate their spontaneity. Some sons of NMs benefit from excellent psychotherapy. When choosing a therapist, interview until you find the one that is best for you. This professional must be capable of attuning himself/herself to you, have well developed empathy besides a solid academic and clinical background. Make sure that the therapist does not have a money motive and is not a narcissist. This can and does happen. Some of the “most qualified ” psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. are narcissistic personality disorders. Stay away from them; they can be very charming and convincing.
There are many avenues to healing. Learn to calm your nervous systems through methods that work best for you–gentle hatha yoga with emphasis of breathing through the nose, a form of meditation or inner quiet that you can do regularly, spending time with people who appreciate you and are excellent listeners.
Some sons of NMs make a decision to go no contact with their mothers to stop the constant interference, blowups, accusations, recriminations, etc. This is your judgment call.
Above all, respect yourself. You are evolving and growing each moment. You are becoming free.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.