Did you have a narcissistic mother?
Mothers not on the disorder, love and nurture, yes they make mistakes, but they do their best to make their children feel secure, safe, loved, cared for 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, hurt, frustrated, invalidated, depressed, empty and broken, then falling into a relationship after relationship with narcissistic people, as 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, but one sibling may grow to be a narcissist. One grows with great empathy for others. They may all grow with compassion and attract narcissistic partners as they don’t know any different and want to people please, you learn to accept behaviour from your parents in childhood that you should have never accepted as you didn’t know any different, or they may all grow up with a lot of narcissistic traits, narcissistic psychopaths are born that way, narcissistic sociopaths and narcissists are usually created during childhood trauma, as they go into the human survival instinct of the fight mode and fail to step back out of it.
Sometimes we end up with a narcissistic partner because one or both parents were narcissistic.￼
Was either every single aspect of your childhood controlled by your mother? Or were you completely ignored, like you didn’t even exist? Or they might try and live through you, living her dreams by pushing them onto you and not allowing you to learn your own dreams.
When you’re growing up, you look up to your parents as role models. If they were narcissistic, you developed a coping mechanism to survive.
So what is the difference between a narcissistic mother and a normal mother?
Most parents want the best for their children, most are proud, and most think their children are beautiful. Most will discipline their children, most like to show off about their children, and most do have grumpy days that may result in snapping at their children. This is normal.
The most common signs your mother was a narcissist is they denied you the right to be yourself, to discover who you are. They have no empathy for you or how you felt.
Signs your mother was a narcissist.
Was the image outside the family home always perfect, yet inside was completely different?
Would they prefer to impress a stranger than take care of you?
Were they always ruining special occasions? Finding ways to make it all about them?
Were they never wrong? Would they twist everything to blame you? Did they never apologise?
Did they never seem to take your thoughts, feelings or opinions on board?
Did they always criticise you and put you down?
If you were Gaslighted and controlled by your mother?
Were you constantly insulted by your mother?
Did she always take you to the doctors for issues you didn’t know you had?
Did they deny you love and affection unless you achieved something?
You could never share thoughts or feelings, as they would be used against you.
Did your mother always lie, manipulate and try to control you?
Did she always take the credit for your achievements?
Did you feel like your mother was always competing with you?
Did your mother just constantly storm your bedroom over anything and everything, never giving you any privacy?
Did she deliberately break things you owned?
Did she always guilt trip you?
Always spoke of their problems with you but never listened to yours?
If you said anything to her about her she didn’t like, did she smack you, send you to your room or screen at you?
Were you the forgotten child, the golden child that always had to perform for your mother or the scapegoat always being blamed?
Did you feel like you had to parent your own mother, take care of her, comfort her, not just because she was under the weather but all the time?
If you’re a people pleaser, it might just be because your mother was a narcissist. Do you feel shame or guilt? Constantly trying your best so that all others like you. You may have always felt empty inside, like you don’t deserve happiness; you may have trust issues; you may find your emotions hard to deal with. You may find it difficult to say no, creating and enforcing boundaries, little self-worth and self-love if you felt this way growing up. Into adulthood, you might be full of anxiety. You may have always had to defend yourself from your mother, often doubting reality around her. It could be because you had a narcissistic mother.
Boys might 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 girls grow to mirror her mother’s insecurities and be the mother to her children that her mother was to her, often being abusive to her partner.
Sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers may grow up to become a co-dependant.
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.
If one parent wasn’t a narcissist, they Might have enabled the narcissistic parent through fear.
If you can find coping methods, so you are not affected and still be around the narcissist, that’s the best way to go. The disorder is on a spectrum, so some you can learn how to handle yourself around them. Others you will need to either distance yourself or completely cut them out.
Only you know what will work best for you if they are still in your life, no reaction. If you have a sibling who can relate with you so you can vent to each other about how unbelievable your mother is. 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.
If you are 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.
Observe their toxic words, know that they are theirs and not yours, do not absorb them. Only you define yourself.
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.
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 them actioning them.
We are individuals, so healing is what works best for you. It’s about breaking that trauma bond, then finding who you indeed are. Once you rediscover who you are, it gets 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 truly 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 yourself. Change the restaurant you usually eat in. Whatever it keeps going until you find the things you truly 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 Click here for BetterHelp.(Sponsored.) Where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
The scapegoat child.
More on signs your parents are narcissistic, and it’s ok to cut them out.