Monday, May 14, 2012

Lost Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers---Finding Themselves

You cannot always see it in their faces or hear it in their words but daughters of narcissistic mothers often feel psychologically empty and emotionally lost. Many of these daughters are in denial because the emotional pain of being raised by a mother in name only is too hard to bear. They are psychologically numb.  They anesthetize themselves with "exciting" relationships, often to narcissistic men. This is a pattern that I have noticed over time that is quite common. You would wonder why anyone would expose themselves to a toxic narcissist after they had endured the royal treatment with mother. This is because as children our reality begins and ends with mother and father. Narcissistic mothers regularly cast the father out of the picture, rule him, emasculate him and denigrate him. Men who endure this treatment often become unavailable to their children.  They are terrified of their wives. They fear the recriminations and accusations and the constant vile criticisms. Often these men become workaholics and are absent from the family home most of the time.

Narcissistic women marry men they can control, blame, abuse and discard. This leaves the daughter of the narcissist face to face with a formidable presence. No daughter can ever measure up and be accepted as an individual or cherished as a child or adult by a narcissistic mother. 

As small children, these daughters are constantly on the alert for mother's real or metaphorical footsteps.Mother seems to be ever-present to pounce on them, especially if the daughter is attempting to share her unique creative ideas and talents. This is especially true if the daughter of the NM is not the Golden Child. The NM treats this one like a fly that has buzzed across her forehead once too many times. 

Narcissistic mothers often act as if they don't have a daughter. Many of them spend most of their tune climbing the career and job ladder. Together with this they have a very active social life. They would rather spend time with people who keep their massive egos inflated than be in the company of a small child who needs constant attention and care. Very young, they are passed off to child care services or nannies without a backward glance. Meanwhile, mother is playing the role or Queen wwherever she goes---fooling many people into thinking she is a fine human being.

Daughters of NMs struggle with evolving their own true identities after the maternal deprivation and abuse of their childhoods. They don't trust themselves; they lack confidence Many are always worried about what "Mother" will think even though deep down they know she doesn't care.

Some of these daughters have a time of reckoning---a big wake up call. They realize that they are not evolving but living in the shadow of a cruel cold non mother. They feel they must save themselves and claim their individuality. Daughters who make this decision often benefit from psychotherapy, group support and other healing modalities including gentle yoga, meditation, using their creativity, following their gifts and passions to re-create themselves. With perseverance and faith in themselves, they re-set their lives, re-discovering their true identities. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

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