You would never imagine that certain mothers who appear to give up their lives for their children and minister to others could be so malicious, destructive, even evil. When these narcissistic mothers are wearing their martyr robes, they are above reproach. Their selflessness cannot be questioned. She is admired by everyone within her social circle--other family members--aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces as well. . People look up to this selfless woman whom they view as a very devoted mother. She responds: "My children are my life, my top priority." Indeed they are her focus for inflicting guilt, blame, relentless criticism and endless shame. The narcissistic mother is a master at inflicting guilt. Her children grow up convinced they are flawed, that there is something fundamentally very wrong about them and that they must obey or they will be severely punished and humiliated. These narcissistic mothers are extraordinarily cunning. Inside the home they are merciless. Their children don't have room to breathe. Mother attempts to control their minds. These children always feel guilty because they are not perfect like she is. As hard as they try, her children can never measure up to mother's perfection. Narcissistic martyr mothers play an ugly psychological card giving their children the message that their mother's emotional and health welfare depends on their absolute obedience to her. One message is that mother could become very ill if her children do not obey her. She reminds them that what others think of them and the family is sacred. Living in this home is like being in prison on lock down. The child of the narcissistic martyr mother is confined within his own mind to believe this woman. After all, he or she must survive. When a child appears to stray from mother's strict rules of conduct and proper thinking, she punishes them by inflicting more guilt. In a cunning manner she pits one child against the next, telling the more vulnerable ones that they are not measuring up to the goodness of their siblings.
This is a very painful way to go through childhood as a psychological prisoner. Some children finally recognize that their narcissistic mother is highly disturbed and that they have been brainwashed. Some with the help of excellent professional therapy and their own personal inner work come to these realizations and begin the road back to healing their original selves--that part of them that has been waiting since the beginning to live in mental, emotional and psychological freedom, to express their feelings without fear or guilt, to use their unique creative gifts, to open themselves to the love and affection of others and to learn how to trust for the first time. This is a healing process that they will follow throughout their lives. They renew their lives each day in gratefulness, psychological freedom and the deep knowledge and appreciation of their unique authenticity. 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