Sensitive Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

This week I had a client who asked me whether it was possible to meet people in our lives who seem ‘great’ at first sight but who turn into the most toxic creatures we ever met after a short while. I spontaneously smiled and felt compassion – I not only knew it was possible as I also had had countless relationships based on that type of human interaction. 

Today I don’t want to talk about people we meet throughout our life though. Today I want to talk about an issue that many women (and men) are still little aware of. Today I want to talk about narcissistic mothers and how it feels like to have one. 

The thought that some people shouldn’t have kids is a bit harsh but sometimes I see myself agreeing with it. If a law or test existed to evaluate people’s parenting potential, I’m sure I wouldn’t be here breathing and typing these words though. Neither my mom nor dad would pass the test. Their parenting used to be a discussion my ex and I would have many times: if we had kids, we were on the same page about limiting my parents’ interaction with them.

I know, it sounds dramatic, ugly, and horrible. My parents, however, are pretty much the opposite example of the kind of parent I would like to become one day. They are emotionally negligent, passive-aggressive, and their lifestyle is far from healthy. My mom has narcissistic traits and behaviours, while my dad is the codependent – I guess I take that from him.

Now that I’m back in Lisbon and staying with my parents I can see the patterns more clearly. Being aware of my own issues with narcissistic men allowed me to conclude that my mom fits indeed with the narc profile: their affection is a direct reflection of the extent to which we please and keep them happy. I didn’t understand how dysfunctional this was when I was a kid, but today I can make sense of the feeling of constantly walk on eggshells – a slight misalignment and everyone suffers. Then, when she goes back to normal it’s like nothing happened.

This very same ugly pattern surfaced this morning. The difference now is that I’m almost 30, I have lived abroad and I don’t have the same tolerance as I used to have. My dad still has it. Whenever my mom ‘goes to the other side’, he does anything he can to fix it and win her affection back. This morning I felt, however, that I can go without it. I won’t push her away, but I no longer want to beg for unconditional love, and I certainly no longer want to be emotionally beaten by her.

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13 thoughts on “Sensitive Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

  1. I wish you didn’t have to go through any of this! I understand having a narcissist parent, it’s super confusing! My mom is the codependent one. I hope you won’t have to be around them for too long from here on out! Best wishes💕

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      1. I never do it and I should. Clearing the auric field and aligning the chakras too… I should punch myself! I have been always lazy / mindless with these exercises! 🥴🥴 Thanks for the reminder 💚

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      2. I’m sorry you had to! :-/ I’m glad you are feeling better about it now though. Maybe we could a collaborative post on this topic! This morning I visualised the cord, dear lord, it’s ugly and comes right from my third chakra -____- haven’t cleared it yet, need to go to a neutral place. Do you use some guided meditation or you just do the visualisation for yourself? 💕

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      3. I understand that ugly cord! Yes, I use this https://youtu.be/YKS3UWoDJfk
        guided meditation that my counselor recommended for me. There are more on YouTube if you do a search. I’ve been using guided meditations for this whole year and just finally did one on my own this week! I would love to collaborate with you as well!

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  2. My hope for you, Dear Vanessa, is to overcome this age old pattern of harm. Stay strong; know that you will, with great effort and determination, become the wise woman you know yourself to be (in all situations).
    If I may offer some advice, it would be to remain as ‘unaffected’ by this behaviour as is possible for you. Remembering that such behaviour wants to capture you within its snare. If you don’t react to it, it will dissipate.

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      1. I feel people don’t really like to talk about these things… it’s still taboo as moms are always portrayed as “nurturing” and many things are “excused”… It’s complex. At the end of the day, unemotional moms also struggled with their own moms too…

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    1. Thank you angel Carolyn 😘 Staying unaffected is really the hardest part for me. I know I have to but I’m such a sponge. I need to snap quicker when these moments come up 😘😘😘 I’m very grateful for your advice 🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️

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