Normal mothers love and nurture, yes they make mistakes, but they do their best to make you feel secure, safe and accepted, make you feel complete and whole from the inside, feeling you are loved for who you are.
When you’re raised with a narcissistic mother, it doesn’t turn out this way, often left feeling depressed, empty and broken, then falling into a relationship after relationship with selfish people. You grow up believing you are unlovable.
It’s not an excuse, but these narcissistic parents have usually suffered some form of trauma themselves to kick in the survival mode. Unfortunately, people who’ve been hurt can then go around hurting others, not always the case. Still, one sibling may grow to be a narcissist, one grows with great empathy for others, they may all grow with empathy and attract narcissistic partners as they don’t know any different and want to people please, or they may all grow up with a lot of narcissistic traits, theirs no proven way of knowing yet, if narcissists are born this way, grow this way or both, nature over nurture debate.
Boys may grow to spend every relationship trying to turn the women into something their mother wasn’t; when the women fail to take away that deeply hidden inner trauma, they punish them, trying to pay back their mother, who was the person who caused them so much, pain anger and resentment. Then those women become damaged, traumatised and start to act out of anger also.
The female may grow to mirror her mother’s insecurities and be the mother to her children that her mother was to her, being abusive to her partner.
Sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers may grow up to become co-dependent.
When you spend your entire life trying to get your mothers approval and support, and no matter what you do, it’s not there. It’s an incredibly tough way to grow up. It shapes who you are. The good news is you can recover and reshape yourself to who you want to be if you put the work in. You can heal those wounds overcome the mindset and inner self that’s been drilled into you from such a young age. You can evolve and have a much happier future.
You may have only just stumbled across the word narcissism because of your ex. It might only just be occurring to you that one or both of your parents were narcissists. You may still be in contact with them.
You may not want to do anything for fear of upsetting other family members, sacrificing your own happiness for others.
Not only dealing with a narcissistic mother yourself, you may have had a narcissist mother in law, but you may also have been walking on eggshells, trying to avoid upsetting your mother or your mother in law. Some of these mothers have the power to control entire families.
If you only had one narcissist in your life or you’ve had many, from parents to siblings, or your partners, recovery follows the same pattern.
Unfortunately, you have to take away that thought process that blood is thicker than water, the same as marriage is forever.
I’ve spent years believing my own dad was just a unique; it turns out he’s got lots of narcissistic traits, luckily my mother was a protector and not an enabler. Some parents will enable narcissist through fear. I’ve slowly distanced my self from him without knowing what personality disorder he possibly has and have learnt to let the negative comments of “You can not be a mother; you should abort.” And “Just stick to what you are good at.” Fly straight over my head as he was never physically abusive. Well, he did drown me in the sink, age one, but that was apparently to save my life from eating dirt; that saying of a narcissist will push you off a cliff just to catch you and claim they saved your life.
If you can find coping methods, so you are not affected and still be around the narcissist, that’s the best way to go. I often imagine myself flicking my father on the nose when he says inappropriate remarks. I do respect him for who he is, but I observe and naturally, from a young age, did; I did move out at 15 to get away from him.
For other types of narcissists, you will need to either distance yourself or completely cut them out. Only you know what will work best for you. Suppose they are still in your life, no reaction. Every few years, I slip up; that’s was before realising they could be a narcissist. On the whole, my mother, brother and I just vented to each other. If you can do this great, unfortunately, a lot of us can not, as the others have narcissistic traits or are just unwilling to open their eyes to reality.
If they are damaging to your true inner self, you need to cut them out of your life. No excuse. With my dad, it’s always been. “He loves me. He just has a funny way of showing it.” I now understand that’s not the case.
If you’re worried about what others think, or if you’re worried, they are elderly and need you. So what if they are still damaging your mental health and your inner self? You have to remove them from your life.
If they are no longer causing you issues and you can put up with them, then no need to cut them out.
I respect my dad for who he is. I don’t agree with him. I also no longer listen to him, so I don’t need to cut them loose as I’m now at one with myself. I’m far from perfect, but I’m good with who I am and what I am good at. His criticism no longer affects me.
Narcissistic mother or father or any other family members, the same things apply to recover and live a happier life for yourself.
If you can not counteract it and lose the trauma patterns if your children are learning from the abusive behaviour, you have to cut them out.
Partly why I believed I was a narcissist when I first started finding out about narcissism after my ex. When my elder son informed me, my father was telling my two-year-old, his dad wasn’t his dad. My ex-husband was his dad, also went snooping through my letters, I cut him out of my life, the older children still saw him as he’d not wronged them, I still said hello if I did see him, and still took a Father’s Day and Birthday gift down, I was never rude, I just didn’t make an effort.
If it is affecting any of those you love and you can cut them out, you need to do so.
One of the main things you need to do, if you don’t cut them from your life, is establishing firm boundaries then actioning them.
We are individuals, so healing is what works best for you; it’s about breaking that trauma bond. I do have a post on here about this, then finding who you indeed are, once you rediscover who you are, it’s got so much easier. If you’re in a negative mindset, you need to work on your programming. It will take work to start with, changes your thought process. It will get easier,
Finding out who you indeed are, you have to put the work in; it is possible if you’re willing to learn, grow and accept change, trying out new interests until you discover what it is you enjoy and not what your mother forced on you to enjoy.
A simple step is if you always order one of two dishes when you go out to eat, go for something you’ve never eaten before, try a restaurant you’ve never been to, join reading groups, gaining knowledge and meeting new people, try writing.
Have a go at horse riding or take a simple walk, try dancing just try new activities, until you find what you enjoy for you. Change the restaurant you usually eat in. Whatever it keeps going until you find the things you genuinely love and enjoy doing for you.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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