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Daughter of a Narcissistic Mom

were you raised by a narcissistic mom?

Narcissistic moms create emotional turmoil for their daughters.

Our moms nurture our sense of self through their touch, acceptance, understanding, empathy and guidance.  We look up to our moms and use her as a role model for our own lives.  Hence, we crave her attention and praise.  We need her understanding, compassion and time.  She protects us from harm, provides shelter and teaches us how to cope when others are cruel.  Her ability to let us know that she understands our fear, confusion, joy and excitement, supports our own feelings, adding value to our self-esteem.

Emotionally healthy moms raise emotionally healthy daughters.

Daughters of emotionally strong moms are confident and are usually capable of navigating their way through life.  They have a strong sense of self; they know who they are, what they like and what they are willing to tolerate.  As a result, they have respect others, as well as themselves.  Emotionally stable daughters will understand personal boundaries and live within them.  Mom has taught them to have their own, unique set of values and build a life around them.

Daughters of narcissistic mom are very different.

These girls lack confidence, have very little self-esteem and are unable to trust their own ability to make decisions.  They feel as though everyone is judging them, struggle to make friends and appear to be shy in social situations.  Therefore; anxiety and depression are common with girls raised by narcissistic moms.  Because these girls live with uncertainty, they are constantly on the look-out for trouble, desperately trying to avoid it at all costs.  This creates a co-dependency that will dictate the rest of their lives, if they are not able to get help.

Signs you were raised by a narcissistic mom

  1. Frequently second-guess yourself.
  2. Wonder if you’ll ever be happy.
  3. Don’t trust your judgement & decisions.
  4. Find yourself constantly apologizing.
  5. Don’t invite your friends to your house.
  6. Struggle to concentrate & focus on your school work.
  7. Feel like you can’t do anything right.
  8. Feel that you just aren’t good enough.
  9. Often cancel plans with friends (if you have any).
  10. You hide your emotional turmoil from family and friends.

You have learned to read facial expressions and use these as a marker for your own judgement.  Hence, constant self-doubt and worry prevent you from fully engaging in conversations.  Other people appear to be happy and you know that happiness is only for the lucky ones, and you are not one of them.  Your most common phrase is “I’m sorry.” because you know that no matter what you do, you will have disappointed someone.  School is a serious struggle for you because you are not comfortable in social situations, your mind wanders (worrying about what you did wrong at home that will cause trouble later), you are not able to direct all of your attention to your school work.

Common behaviours of a narcissistic mom

  • Lack of boundaries
  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Control
  • Manipulation
  • Triangulation
  • Shaming
  • Compete for affection
  • Self-entitlement

Behaviours explained

Lack of boundaries – Mom will expect you to respect her personal space and privacy, but will not respect yours.

Emotionally unavailable – Mom is not a shoulder to cry on, vent to or celebrate with. Alternatively, she will criticize your emotions and make your story about her somehow.

Control  – You will not be able to make decisions about your future, friends or really anything else.  She will attend and control your doctor’s appointments, your school schedule, extra-curricular activities & hobbies.  She will establish unachievable expectations and chastise you for not living up to her standards. She will not teach you basic life skills (laundry, cooking, cleaning) because you will never be good enough at it.   She may demand that you do these tasks, but without instruction, ultimately setting you up for failure.

Manipulation – Masters of the guilt trip, “I do everything for you and this is what I get in return?” In other words, she will twist your words to suit her and believe that she is being victimized by you.

Isolation tactics

Triangulation – She will make you believe that others agree with her opinions and disagree with yours.  She will complain to family & friends about you, making them believe that you are a horrible child.  As a result, this leaves you feeling isolated and allows her to continue to control & manipulate you.

Shaming – She will compare you to your siblings, her friend’s children or anyone else to point out that they are so much better than you.  You will never measure up to her expectations and she will be more than happy to point that out whenever she gets the chance.

Competes for affection – She will not allow you to have a close bond with your dad because this will be a threat to her marriage.  She will make sure dad (partner) is on her side and views you the same way she does.

Self-entitlement – Her emotional needs will always be met before yours. She will claim ownership of your clothes, your room, the food, and everything in the home which will allow her to make ridiculous rules for these items.  Because she owns these things, she can decide when you are deserving of them.

Can the Damage be Undone?

Damage is never really undone, however; you can learn from this experience, heal and live a fully functioning, happy life – if you choose to.  Above all, as with any trauma, time will be your best friend.

  • Your past is not your fault, your future is your responsibility!
  • Understand that anything your mom said to you was not about you, but a reflection of how she feels about herself.
  • Focus your attention on your inner voice and as a result be kind to you.
  • Take time to get to know the real you such as personal interests, likes/dislikes & try new things.
  • Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time.
  • Have faith that with new information & understanding – you will do better in the future.
  • Fall in love with YOU – then find someone who truly loves you just as much!!

Both Andrea & Maggie have experience with a narcissistic mom and share their stories. If your situation is urgent, please find support, links & information at Get Up & Go or your local shelter.

Were you raised by a narcissistic mom? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “Daughter of a Narcissistic Mom”

  1. ALLI says:

    I think this a great topic that needs to be talked about more especially in our current social media appearance society. Thanks for shining some light on it.

    1. admin says:

      Yes, it is a topic that needs to be discussed. There is a lot of conversation about narcissistic abuse in regards to relationships, but very little when it’s a parent. The effects are the same, if not worse.

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