There is an extra psychological burden placed on daughters of narcissistic mothers. If they are not the chosen child they are expected to be at the instant service of mother--day and night. Some narcissistic mothers think nothing of awakening their children even in the middle of the night if they want something or just need to vent. Their behaviors are often unpredictable and anxiety provoking to their children. Those outside the walls of the house, even those who are "close friends" of the family never have any idea of how sadistic and cruel these mothers are. Narcissistic mothers are incapable of psychological attachment to their daughters. They view them as animate objects to be used to fulfill their goals, especially to enhance their false image of being a good parent.
In many instances the oldest daughter raises the other children in the family. Some of these girls are as young as seven years old when the entire burden of taking care of the younger one is foisted on their small shoulders. I have been in communication with a number of daughters who had to take on this role. It is quite remarkable that a young girl could be capable of this level of responsibility. These adult daughters say that they had no choice. They were there and carrying for the little ones was expected of them and they did all of the hard work. These little mothers were never praised. Rather the narcissistic mother found every opportunity to criticize her daughter at every turn. These daughters never had a childhood; they are forced to grow up too fast. Many of them had to work from early in the morning, taking care of the very young ones, getting them off to school, taking care of them when they arrived back home and tucking them into bed at night. Meals and baths and reading were all done by the daughter of the narcissistic mother. This is remarkable.
Adult daughters of narcissistic mothers have to deal with a double burden. They dealt with the coldness, deceptions, lies and unpredictability of a non-mother. There is the mother wound they have had to deal with throughout their lives. Some of these women did have aunts and grandmothers and the mothers of their friends who provided them with some nurturing and affection.
Many of these adult daughters of narcissistic mothers are loving mothers to their own children. Others decide not to have children. They have sustained too much emotional deprivation to consider having children of their own and repeat the process of raising them all over again. Daughters of narcissistic mothers are amazing survivors who deserve our deep respect. They have done everything possible to survive psychologically and have sustained their younger siblings despite the fact that they were children themselves. The power of perseverance and compassion in these individuals is inspiring. It renews our hope in human nature. To understand the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth, visit my website: thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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