Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The narcissistic mothers and their daughters

Most of the time when women come undone people assume that its daddy issues. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the dad and all to do with the mother. There are mothers who are controlling because they have narcissistic personality. They lack the fundamentals of mothering e.g. unconditional love, sensitivity and empathy and security. An example is the character in the Tv series Single ladies whose mother wants her to marry a philandering man because he comes from a good family. 

Their daughters are normally conditioned to care for these mothers rather than the reverse. These mothers see their daughters as competition which explains why they rarely attack their male children. Although there are some few males who have controlling mothers like the character Charlie’s mother in “two and a half men” and that rapper who always says unsavory things about his mother in his songs. For others it is their father who is narcissistic like that character in ‘The mentalist’ whose name I can't remember now and the bad boy in the Tv series "Friday night lights". Anyone who is in a relationship with a narcissistic person will tell you how hard it is to break free. These mothers consistently undermine your person-hood. Although every human being needs a reasonable amount of attention to survive both physically and psychologically, these mothers want to have it all even if it means depriving their children of certain privileges.

Narcissistic mothers are predatory; they will torture their children for sheer entertainment. Like that woman who on the internet uploaded a clip of her two young children beating the hell out of each other. They rarely get caught by other people because they have mastered the art of predation. Personnel in the child services can usually tell a child is being emotionally abused but are hard pressed to prove it. They always pounce on their children when no one who may hold them account or stop them is around to witness the abuse. NM pushes buttons you didn’t even know you had. This also made worse by how the society worships mothers and assumes that when a mother gives birth the maternal instincts automatically kicks in. Unfortunately in some mothers it doesn’t and they spend the rest of their lives sucking the life out of their child’s life and in most cases get away with it.

NM always single out the most sensitive child as a target. They can smell vulnerability with nearly unfailing accuracy. They never apologize for continuously abusing you. These mothers never apologize even after they have reduced you verbally or physically to tears or coerced you into their version of reality. In fact they later break down to what one blogger described as non-apology and sweetly said words of non-love e.g.

I’m sorry but I had to do that to you
I’m hard on you because I care so much about you
I’m strict because I want you to be better than me
Look what you made me do

All these words keep you coming back for more abuse. If you do something commendable they withhold praise from you. For example if you get all A’s in your report card she tell you “Oh, that’s nice honey…” making you feel like it is not good enough. Or she will tell you of her accomplishments to up you and brag on herself. No matter how hard you try the response is always the same. They are sadistic and therefore don’t see the need to recognize your accomplishments.

These behaviors are hard to deal with because in every mother-daughter relationship, they manifest different. The need to have it all is what they all have in common but they manifest differently especially since every child also has a different Achilles heel for them to attack. Even though they don’t necessarily lay a hand on you they always manage to bring you pain. Emotional abuse is usually the worst as it is very hard to not only prove but also explain. Even advocates for abused children can tell they are abused but they are at a loss when it comes to explaining it in court and most of the time abusive mothers get away with it.
Narcissistic mothers want to humiliate shame and confuse you. She will tell you things like

You will never amount to anything”
“You will never make it in life”
“I wish I never gave birth to you”
“You were the worst mistake I ever made in my life”
“I should have had an abortion when I had the chance”

NM are sadistic in that they enjoys hurting you and wants you to know that they do. They lack empathy. The abuse is not involuntary or reflexive. It is carefully staged, planned, deliberate, premeditated cruelty and they know what they are doing. This deliberate sadism is deeply enjoyed by these sadistic mothers. They do not acknowledge your feelings. For example the mother can beat you then ask you to stop crying yet you are hurting.

The many faces of narcissism include being psychosomatic, ignoring, belittling and shaming.  The abuse can be overt one where they physically abuse you which is easy to deal with as you have the outward marks to bear witness. I have a friend who is employed in her mid 20’s living at home and her parents still beat her when she disagrees with them. She told me if she buys something she hides them under her bed because her parents monitor everything. She tells me she plans on moving out secretly because her mother won’t let her. I asked her to come for a sleep over and she refused, I even offered to ask her mother directly but she was too scared.

The most dangerous mothers are those who are not overtly narcissistic and are able to hide their malicious predation. In fact people around her praise her for her “goodness” and they castigate you whenever you try to stand up for yourself. She is so clever that she has managed to get everyone on her side to help make your life miserable. You can’t prove to other people how they abuse you as it is mostly emotional abuse. Narcissistic mothers adapt to their environment and change their tactics as the situation demands which makes it hard to pin point the exact problems.

Most of the time the only way to know that your mother is narcissistic is how she makes you feel. Usually it’s very hard for daughters with narcissistic mothers to find “proof” to issue a final “verdict” on them. Hence the reason why they stay trapped in such relationship. It’s the same with people with narcissistic partners. Ever seen two people who look good together date for long then out of the blue they break up over something as simple as he forgot her birthday? Well it’s because the woman or man has been looking for a way out and this small incident provides it.

People on the on the outside are usually oblivious of what is happening to the child. Therefore you can only accurately measure the toxicity of their behavior by the effects on your own soul. If she paralyses you that sometimes you feel like running away or killing yourself then it’s really bad for you. If ever conversation with her leaves you either guilty or angry then it is also a sign of a toxic relationship. If you even wish she were dead then it’s a very serious problem. I remember one daughter saying that when her mother died was the first time she felt really free.

Many daughters of narcissistic mothers mostly end up either as high-achievers to please their mothers or perform poorly (self-sabotagers) because they give up on ever being good enough for their mother. No matter which form the daughter takes they still have feelings of inadequacies.

To be free, you really need to give your self permission to give your “verdict” against your mother based on the evidence it has on your heart, mind and soul. Don’t wait for it to reach a certain level of hard abuse, leave before it gets out of hand. Accept what your mother for what she is and what she isn’t and stop expecting to much. (You have all seen stories where children kill their mothers after the abuse has made their minds unstable). It’s the only way you will start the process of healing.

Another blogger said she tried to break free from her narcissistic mother through talking it out but it felt like telling her mother to look at the rainbow and she is colour blind. It never works because they have years and years of practice manipulating people around them. The sure fire way of dealing with narcissistic mothers is no contact at all, they are way to far gone to change. They gate a pay off from your pain. It is too much fun!

Ps- I am no psychologist so maybe you need to see a counselor for real truths on how to deal with a narcissistic mother. For useful information on how to cope you can also buy the book  

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?  By Dr Karyl McBride. 

 She is a trained marriage counselor and therapist, and also a daughter of a narcissistic mother. She has studied the mother-daughter dynamic for twenty plus years and written extensively about this subject in her book. She gives examples from clients who she has counselled over the years. Many women have really benefited from this book especially since it has been written by someone who has gone through it. She also gives step-by-step advice on how to deal with these situations and leave a joyfully fulfilling life.


  1. Just get away from the old bat. Then she will stop hurting you, that is what I did, I have had no contact with my mother for three years and I am luv'in it! When she dies I will be their to pick her bones and the left overs in her estate but other then that I don't care if someone scoops her up and takes her away .

    1. Good for you! I haven't spoken to or heard from my evil narcissistic mother for over two years. I just heard she had a stroke. I feel no sympathy for her. She ruined my life and at 53 I am just starting to pick up the pieces after finally figuring out who and what she is. I have had dreams of killing her for a long time. Now I know why.

  2. I agree! I am also three years free from the woman I call, 'Misery', and I am just getting to the point where the pain is receding, and I am feeling fabulously liberated. There is not a single part of that relationship that I miss. I don't feel guilty anymore for stopping contact, and actually think of myself as not having a mother.
    The downsides to ever having her in my life are:I am still shakey emotionally in various areas; I am fearful of being like her, with my son, and the triangualtion she caused with my siblings. As the black sheep, I resent my siblings, and the way they passively observed the abuse, to protect themselves - despite my knowing they were in impossible situations, as well. So sadly, we are no longer that close.
    on the plus side, I am FREEEEEEEEEEEEE! Good luck to all others who have experienced a mother like this - it is not easy to break away and find out who you are.

  3. I live the closest to my aging mother, i don't visit. But her two golden kids live nearby. I want nothing to do with any of them.

  4. I am such a wreck that I can't even support myself, so I have to live with my mother as an adult (I'm 21). I am never going to escape. She is the only one providing for me, but being around her is a death sentence. My life has been solely defined by her, and it seems my death will be too.

    1. i havent been to this page b4 and i hope you know there is a reply, i have faith in you. do not give up, ever. there is still a spot of innocence/joy/love that she hasn't gotten to. hang on to it. shield it from her and the others who act like vultures trying to get a snack off your wounded heart. your post shows your still fighting even if its a squeek, your still in there. dont give up. . I found even after my mpther was dead she still was in my head. she had not just rented but had bought property in my head. i found it is taking time to get her out. i evict as much as i can w/o total overwhealm, and then i go back for more therapy, i cant do it all at once, its too much to deal with in a few or several months. there is a quote by emily dickinson, "Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all. another i love is by joesph cambell "Find a place (inside) where there's joy,and the joy will burn out the pain. that is the innocent place she hasnt destroyed. if you can get thru most of it, you will have a rare and wonderful gift to help others, if you were weak you would be dead. but your not. i sense you are a amazing spirit. i am seldom wrong. i believe in you.

  5. my mother beat the living daylights out of me for as long as I can remember. I remember being in a highchair and before. the last time she hit me so hard that I fell out of a chair. that was 2 weeks before I got married. she would deliberately 'set me up' and seemed to take pleasure in punishing me.. the story is too long.. I am 71 y.o. and she is 91....still living....she is in Arizona and I live in ohio.....she can still do a number on me over the good thing...the abuse STOPPED with me...I never hit or torcherd my girls, and I truly love them with my whole heart. I still try to forgive my's pretty hard to think about......

    1. I am 24, just starting my family. One of my biggest fears has been turning out like me mother. It makes me so happy to read that you have raised your babies, and have always loved them.
      Thank you for your words. It has been a long journey, but by going non-contact with my mother, I can heal:)
      Thank you again!

  6. After many years of trying to work on my relationship I now realise it has become toxic. You expose to your Mother you dont want to be treated or talked to like this anymore, and if She does I will not visit. Just to go another few months down the road to then realise that you are being used as a verbal emotional punch bag yet again, hence ..... the cycle continues. Your targeted to be abused because you are an easy target, or so appears. Your siblings shift 'Her' focus onto so that this behaviour isnt targeted on them. I resent my siblings for blaming Me for My Mothers toxic behaviour, and diverting that abuse onto Me. I realise now it was to protect themselves. It hurt very much that I then became the 'black sheep' I will not forgive My siblings or My Father for doing this. The damage that this has caused is that it has split Me and My siblings apart. My Mum got all on Her side, blamed Me. Of course She would...... Pushed Me out.... Now it has come to a point in My life where I have to walk away from this. I have had too many year as a target. It is all very sad, as has She ages the bitterness of losing control will become more acute, then My siblings will then realise what hell She put Me through......

  7. You can not imagine the amount of support that I am receiving through your blog and other sites. I stumbled upon NPD in August and finally everything made sense. I have a NPD mom, enabling father and brother who is the golden child. I once went no contact for 3 yrs but once my son was born, I felt enormous guilt to reach out and make that contact again. Well, things went back to the way they were very quickly. The demeaning, put downs, belittling, disrespect...and the list goes on. After learning more about NPD, I have decided that no contact is best for me and my son. This time around this information for me has been more freeing than ever before. The realization that nothing they say or do can ever change my mind is quite freeing. However, my guilt comes in waves. When that happens I feel that I am causing immense pain to all of them by choosing no contact in order to set myself free. Questions like "Am I being selfish?" pop up. My husband goes back and forth with the low contact option but we both know that they can not be reasoned with. He supports me. My family would rather me put up with them and stay miserable and unhappy. But for once I feel that I'm in control of that part of my life. And all that's left is their desperate attempts at contact. When nothing sways me anymore, even health concerns ....that's when it gets sad. But very necessary in order for me to heal and move forward.

  8. My mother is a NM. I recently called her out on all of her bull, and she has began putting me down on Facebook, and also to anyone that will listen. She somehow always looks like the victim to people. I am now NO CONTACT! The only thing that stinks is that my sister, the Golden, and I will never have the same relationship. But I have an amazing husband, and two beautiful little boys. I couldn't be happier with my life.

  9. I have a Narcissitic Mother-in-law. It breaks my heart to have learned all the ways she abused my husband growing up. I am an easy target for her and she has made my life a living hell. I have wanted to divorce my husband so many times. We have 2 children and his level of anger and verbal abuse toward them was pushed my to demanding he get help or it was over. He has gotten help and things are a bit better, but there are many ups and downs. We live in the same town with his entire family and are in a family business together (he is). HIs family blames me entirely for boundaries we have tried to create therefore we do not have much of a relationship with any of them. My family lives out of town and we do not get to see them much.
    We live in an impossible situation and I think our marriage and life would have been happier and healthier had we moved years ago....

  10. I now see my mum's competition as hilarious. I make historical type stage costumes for a musical act I do and when I told her how I was making them on a dummy her response was " well WE never had anything like that when I was growing up, we had to make a 3 dimensional dummy from cardboard" -ahem, yeah, but you still had family members who could tell you how it fitted LOL, and furthermore and moreover, in the 50 years since you left home, you could have bought a dummy and made your own clothes yourself, it's not that complicated LOL!!! :)
    She has done absolutely nothing in the 50 years since she got married, in terms of family or personal goals. But this is a common trait of narcissists both male and female. I find it easier to spot them nowadays from the fact that a) they talk a lot about projects but never ever complete anything from one year to the next; b) they are LAZY; c) they gossip A LOT about others; d) you always get this nagging feeling your time is wasted by them. In other words, they are JOKERS. They don't work at anything and I do mean anything.
    It is quite a challenge to put your screening hat on when you meet people, my natural inclination is to be accepting of people up to the point that they prove themselves unacceptable, but now I prefer to suss them out immediately and not ignore how they make me feel, because hey - THEY do that insofar as they try to suss out who'll put up with their bullshit!!
    Best solution is to be businesslike and unemotional with everyone. No nonsense and utterly objective. No time for idiots. Same in business. Honour business obligations but don't get taken for a ride.

  11. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    My web site: garcinia cambogia extract

    1. That's so funny! Poor thing!

    2. I don't think it is funny,She trusted you and was so excited to hear the ocean from the seashell. You thought it funny that she was pinched by the crab , what kind of mother are you to take pleasure in your little 4 year old childs pain. Now she has the fear of the ocean and you are a heartless witch. My mother was just like you and I hope I never see her again. Your daughter will one day see you for what you are.

    3. I agree that the woman is a heartless slag. Any parent who thinks pain to their child is amusing shouldn't be a mum.

    4. smh in pure disgust... my Mother was just like you, always taking pleasure with anything that included laughing at or making fun of. She will grow up and will never forget. And just like most of us dealing with Mother's like you; I am relieved that mine is 6 feet under in all of her glory. I'm quite sure your daughter will feel somewhat the same! #unfortunatehumanbeing some are

  12. my beautiful step daughter is eloping because of her NM If we had been aware of all of this information we would have had her out of that house in a minute. she is now trying to set some strong boundaries with her NM (who suggested she elope! ) she is an only child through that marriage, but has two siblings here. thank god she is turning out more like our little family and is loving and caring.

  13. I sit here reading a lot of these stories and I can relate. I am petrified of becoming my mother. I am 39 years old and I am afraid of her. I had to go back and live with my NM after I separated from my husband. My parents financially supported me and my children. It took me 5 yrs to move into my own place and break free from her. I ended up being in a N relationship and marrying him. My life turned for the worse as both my husband and mother ganged up on me. To make a long story short, I left my husband and I am removed from my mother. I am in counseling now and just learned months ago what has happened right before my face. I am in the process of healing but I can't be around my other family as she is using all them to isolate me.
    I decided to forgive her. I know now I can't have her in my life or children's life. I have taken responsibility. I pray all others going through this get the freedom and peace they need.

  14. I'm 60 years old and have had my life controlled, manipulated and destroyed because of the tactics of my NM.
    My childhood was a never ending series of beatings, humiliations, put downs and psychological abuse that was easily picked-up and also used by my Enabling Father and Golden child brother. I wasn't allowed to have any friends - only GC. It got to the point where I felt I didn't deserve any friends. Who would want me if my own family found me to be unworthy? " You're nothing! You're Nobody!" where typical phrases that were screamed at me at the dinner table, if I ( heaven forbid) decided to say something. Mocking me was a tactic used by GC with NM and EF laughing, encouraging him. So, I was alone, rendered silent, and wasn't permitted to express myself without being mocked and made fun of.
    Because of that, I have none of the experience in basic socialization skills and am generally afraid of people. If I found a friend, one of two things happened:
    1. They were run off by the family.
    2. Smear Campaigns:They lied to them about " who I am" ( monster, pathological liar, mentally unstable, shouldn't be trusted around children...) and felt they should be told for "their own good". I had no one to turn to for help and support. But, that was part of covering their abuse.
    I was an excellent student in school - better than GC- and denied the university education that was given to GC. After High School, I was denied money to buy clothes or take a bus to get a job. I was told "my place" was to clean their house.
    I married the first man put in front of me who was also an abuser. My family supported his treatment of me and sided with him. I have one child, who I loved with all my heart and raised alone, who the family has pitted against me, too.
    The system of abuse, coupled with tactics of flying monkeys, continued until I went No Contact at age 52. Actually, it's still going on. I just removed myself from anyone who has contact with them, narrowing people I could reach out to, to no one.Most of my life is gone and I really don't know where to go from here.
    I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD and my therapist told me to get on with my life and be happy. Honestly, I don't know how. I have only experienced loss and pain. At 60, I feel like a child looking for guidance and support. Sad, really. But, I don't trust anyone.
    NM and EF are in their 80's, GC is two years older than I, and they wont quit!
    Has anyone been where I am, and can give some advice?

    1. Try going non contact with them or as little as possible. It will do you a world of good.

  15. Sister by Way of Common Pain
    I wish that reading your entry wasn't exactly like reading my own. As much as I can truly understand your immense feelings of loss ,confusion rejection, betrayal, and please forgive me if I am just projecting many of my own feels by way of transference (as the similarities of your life being so very close to my own!) but also anger ,regret , sadness and ill speak for myself by saying far to often then I care to admit SELFPITY

  16. I'm 54, I saw my mother alive the last time on June 12th, and she died on the 26th. it's my two oldest sisters who are both NPs, and my mother died so quickly and suddenly I honestly believe that they killed her somehow. She was dead within 2 weeks a very recent diagnosis of cancer. my two siblings and the other three that are partners with them chose to not inform me the day before my mother died knowing that she was on her deathbed and they sent me a text the morning she passed that she had died and never even bother to call me. I live 1 mile from her house. One of the other sisters, one of their minions, informed me that she had wanted to call me the day before and and I was told the NPs told her that I knew what was going on and that I chose not to be there. After the text message that my mother passed I went over to her house where they all were and I had mentioned mistakenly that I was sad no one called me the day before ... so then they assaulted me out front when I wanted to leave as I was getting angry and frustrated by all of their belittling and emotional mental and verbal abuse, I was upset and they held my arms and said I couldn't leave! That their physically restraining me against my will ... it was for my own good and my own protection. Protection from what, not them! So much damage that they've done in my entire life, to myself, my children. and to top it off when I was at my mom's house that day my sister looked at me and said do you want to see the pictures? I looked at her and I said pictures of what, she said of mom. These people are sadistic, very sadistic. I didn't realize they are sadistic narcissist until the night before the funeral and I got online and started researching and realized who they are. My one son and my husband both know to stay away from them but my daughter who has a baby thinks they're fine and is not willing to have no contact because they buy her diapers. All I can hope and pray is that they don't attack her and my granddaughter but I can't do anything other than sit back and pray. SO how do we get help coping with this, waking up to this nightmare after fifty four years? People in my life aren't equipped to handle this , I have very few people in my life. And now waking up to this every person that's in my life or I meet I now have to process and go through my checklist and look for red flags. Therapist don't know what this is or they would have decided years ago what was wrong with me and my family of origin. I am absolutely I'm certain my foo will never change because all of this was a result of severe child abuse from infancy on to the older two sisters Their issues are based on extreme developmental issues and there's no way they can get fixed. They have to be made aware first and that seems like a big impossibility. But I'm still here and worked all my life trying to crack this family coat of origin crap. And I'm working hard and I need help and I need to know where are the answers for this???? Or do I just somehow survive this fingers crossed and then write a book?

  17. My post above, the 54 year old with the two sisters who are both NPs, for years they were begging and begging and begging me to move into a house that's one block and 3 blocks from their houses so I live that close to my abusers. The oldest NP, when our brother was in Thailand and needed an ambulance she would NOT let me use her landline phone to call for an ambulance to help him, she said that is his problem so let him deal with his own s***. Yep, no concern for anyone else in any regard at all.