Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently

 / 

, ,
Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Being the daughters of narcissistic mothers can be severely damaging. Narcissistic mothers feel as if they are entitled to control their daughters, and the relationship between narcissistic moms and daughters is toxic, to say the least/.

So, what are the consequences of being the daughter of a narcissistic mother? How do adult daughters of narcissistic mothers navigate through life?

Our mother is our first love. She’s our introduction to life and to ourselves. She’s our lifeline to security. We initially learn about ourselves and our world through interactions with her.

We naturally long for her physical and emotional sustenance, her touch, her smile, and her protection. Her empathetic reflection of our feelings, wants, and needs inform us who we are and that we have value.

A narcissistic mother who cannot empathize damages her children’s healthy psychological development. Like Narcissus in the Greek myth, she sees only a reflection of herself. There is no boundary of separateness between her and her children, whom she cannot see as unique individuals worthy of love. 

Symptoms of narcissism that make up narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) vary in severity, but they inevitably compromise a narcissist’s ability to parent.

The following are some of the characteristics and consequences of having a narcissistic mother. Notice that they unwittingly get repeated in adult abusive relationships, including relationships with narcissists, because they’re familiar – it feels like family.

Related: Surviving A Mom-ster: Trials And Tribulations Of Daughters Of Elderly Narcissistic Mothers

What Is It Like Being The Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers?

1. Lack of Boundaries

Some of the effects on daughters are different than on sons because girls usually spend more time with their mother and look to her as a role model. Due to a lack of boundaries, narcissistic mothers tend to see their daughters both as threats and as annexed to their own egos.

Through direction and criticism, they try to shape their daughter into a version of themselves or their idealized self.

At the same time, they project onto their daughter not only unwanted and denied aspects of themselves, such as self-centeredness, obstinance, selfishness, and coldness, but also disliked traits of their own mothers.

They may prefer their son, although they can harm him in other ways, such as through emotional incest.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
Narcissist Parents: Toxic Mother

2. Emotional Unavailability

Emotional comfort and closeness that normal maternal tenderness and caring providers are absent. Narcissistic mothers may tend to their daughter’s physical needs, but leave her emotionally bereft.

The daughter may not realize what’s lacking but longs for warmth and understanding from her mother that she may have experienced with friends or relatives or witnessed in other mother-daughter relationships.

She yearns for an elusive connection, felt fleetingly or never. She doesn’t learn to identify and value her emotional needs, nor know how to meet them.

What remains is emptiness and/or anxiety, a sense that something is missing, and an inability to nurture and comfort herself. She may look to fill it in other relationships, but often the pattern of emotional unavailability is repeated.

3. Narcissistic abuse

Narcissistic abuse, including repeated shaming and control, undermine the developing identity of a young girl, creating insecurity and low self-esteem. She cannot trust her own feelings and impulses and concludes that it’s her fault that her mother is displeased with her.

She’s unaware that her mother will never be satisfied. In severe cases of emotional or physical abuse or neglect, a daughter may feel she has no right to exist, is a burden to her mother, and should never have been born.

If not also abusive, often husbands of narcissistic women are passive and don’t protect their daughters from maternal abuse.

Some mothers lie and hide their abuse. A daughter doesn’t learn to protect and stand up for herself. She may feel defenseless or not even recognize mistreatment later in adult abusive relationships.

Related: Are You Dealing With A Narcissistic Mother? 10 Narcissistic Mother Symptoms You Should Look Out For

4. Toxic shame

She rarely, if ever, feels accepted for just being herself. She must choose between sacrificing herself and losing her mother’s love–a pattern of self-denial and accommodation is replayed as codependency in adult relationships. Her real self is rejected, first by her mother, and then by herself.

The consequence is internalized, toxic shame, based on the belief that her real self is unlovable. How could she be worthy of love when her own mother didn’t love and accept her?

Children are supposed to love their mothers and vice versa! A daughter’s shame is compounded by anger or hatred toward her mother that she doesn’t understand.

She believes it’s further evidence of her badness, and that all her mother’s criticisms must be true. Never feeling good enough her life is one of continual striving and lack of fulfillment. Since love must be earned, her adult relationships may repeat a cycle of abandonment.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers

5. Control

People with NPD are myopic. The world revolves around them. They control and manipulate their children’s needs, feelings, and choices when they can, and take it as a personal affront deserving of punishment when they can’t.

Parenting is often, “My way or the highway.” Self-involvement leads some narcissistic mothers to focus only on themselves or their sons, and neglect or deprive their daughters.

Other mothers want their daughters to look and be their best “according to them,” but cripple their daughters in the process through criticism and control. Such mothers attempt to live through their daughters, who they see as an extension of themselves.

They want her to dress and behave just as they do, and to choose boyfriends, hobbies, and work that they would choose. “For her own good,” they might forbid or criticize whatever their daughter likes or wants, undermine her ability to think for herself, to know what she wants, to choose for herself, and to pursue it.

Their attention to their daughter is accompanied by their envy and expectations of gratitude and compliance. In adult relationships, these daughters often are in controlling relationships or get into unnecessary power struggles.

6. Competition

Believing she is “the fairest one of all” or fearing that she’s not, motivates narcissistic mothers to not only criticize their daughters but to compete with their daughters for their husband’s and son’s love. Such mothers may deny or not protect their daughters if they abuse them.

They may restrict or disparage her boyfriends because they’re “not good enough,” yet nevertheless compete for their attention and flirt with them. To be in control and number one in their daughter’s life, they may invade their daughter’s privacy and undermine her relationships with friends and other relatives.

Related: The Good Daughter Syndrome: 7 Signs of Narcissistic Mother Empath Daughter Dynamics

Recovery

Recovery from the trauma of growing up with feelings of rejection and shame takes time and effort. (See Conquering Shame and Codependency.) Ultimately, it means recovery from codependency. It starts with identifying and understanding that the shaming messages and beliefs transmitted from mother to daughter are untrue.

Replacing the internalized, negative, maternal voice – the internal critic – with self-nurturing is an important step. (See 10 Steps to Self-Esteem: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Self-Criticism and webinar How to Raise Your Self-Esteem.) Recovery entails both healing the past and learning new skills to overcome codependency. (See Codependency for Dummies.)

To learn how to deal with a narcissist in your life, whether your partner or parent, follow the steps in Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People.

Read about “Sons of Narcissistic Mothers” and “Sons of Narcissistic Fathers.”

©Darlene Lancer 2017


Written By Darlene Lancer JD LMFT
Originally Appeared On Codependency
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently Pin
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently PIN
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently pin
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently
narcissistic mother
Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 Ways They Grow Differently

— Share —

— About the Author —

Response

  1. Kimberly Curtis Avatar
    Kimberly Curtis

    Wow, this is amazingly accurate. I’m going to check out your website. I’d love to get more info. Thank you. It’s nice to be reassured that it’s not all in your head.
    Kim Curtis

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Have you ever heard of the term “flying monkeys” or “flying monkeys of the narcissist”? Who are they and what do they do exactly? This article is going to explore everything about who flying monkeys are and what role they play in narcissistic abuse.

‘Flying Monkey’ is the term given to those agents and allies that collude with an abusive person. Their role is to continue carrying out tormenting the victim on their behalf.

If it’s during the relationship, the abuser gets to abuse by proxy as it’s other people that are getting their hands dirty.

If it’s after the relationship has ended or you’ve left that job or left that area, it’s a way of perpetuating the abuse. Again though, the abusers hands are clean as others are doing the work for them.

<



Up Next

4 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Have you ever worked with a toxic boss or toxic leader? If you have, then you know how horrible and malicious they really are, and if you haven’t, then read on to know the signs of a toxic leader so that it’s easier for you to understand what you are dealing with.

KEY POINTS

Poor, toxic leaders demand unquestioning loyalty and service to the leader.

Bad leaders rule by a sense of fear, both of outsiders and of the leader’s wrath.

Good leadership empowers followers, shows concern for them, and benefits the collective.

All too often, people fall prey to self-serving



Up Next

Eggshell Parenting Meaning: 5 Signs You’re Making These Mistakes!

Eggshell Parenting: Signs You're Making These Mistakes!

Parenting is one of the most sincere tasks in every individual’s life that should be done with utmost care and coherence. However, the relationship between parents and their children is often tampered by the mental, and behavioral issues of the parents.

Thus, mood disorders and the violent nature of parents can affect the child’s life. Eggshell parenting is one such consequence. In this blog, we will guide you to understand eggshell parenting and show you the risky spots you should avoid.

What is Eggshell Parenting?  



Up Next

Top 6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History and Their Psychology Unleashed

Top Most Notorious Serial Killers In History

Some of the most horrifying and notorious murder cases in criminal history are those in which the most notorious serial killers caused irreversible harm to society by their horrific deeds. Motivated by an intricate network of psychological, social, and frequently pathological elements, these infamous persons have perpetrated atrocities that persistently enthral and appal the public.

Every instance sheds light on the dark psychology of serial killers, from Ed Gein’s horrific acts to Ted Bundy’s deliberate and planned killings. Investigating these sinister tales reveals not only the specifics of their heinous deeds but also the patterns and reasons behind them, providing insights into one of the most ghastly aspects of human nature.

6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History



Up Next

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: A Deep Dive Into 5 Serial Killers and Their Upbringing

Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: Case Examples

The public’s fascination with the mystery surrounding serial killers has long sparked conjecture regarding the motivations behind people’s horrific behavior. The role of childhood trauma in serial killers has received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the reasons underlying their actions are complex.

In this blog, we explore the childhood experiences in serial killers to gain insight into their terrifying world. We aim to uncover the intricate relationship between pathology and upbringing by delving into the trauma in serial killers and unfavorable conditions that shaped these individuals’ early years.

This will illuminate the shadowy pasts of some of the most infamous murderers in history. Come along with us as we venture into the darkest recesses of the human brain, where the roots of violence are planted.



Up Next

Man vs Bear Debate: What is the Right Choice for Women?

Man vs Bear Debate: Is It Safe To Choose a Bear Over Man?

Even though Leonardo Di Caprio has proven that men can beat a bear in strength and intelligence, let’s not get carried away and remember that a bear can be more powerful than men. You can guess that we are here to discuss why women chose bear in the man vs bear debate.

The real question is, what threatens women more? Getting mauled by a bear and meeting a horrific death or getting violated by a man??

Women are inclined to the second option in the viral Man vs Bear debate.



Up Next

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? 8 Ways Narcissists Can Muddle Your Brain

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? Reasons Why It Happens

Have you ever heard of the term “brain fog”? Brain fog is like a maddening haze that seems to muddle your thoughts, makes you forget what you were saying, and has you searching for your clothes in the trash bin? Well, today we are going to talk about a specific sort of brain fog – brain fog after narcissistic abuse.

Imagine that you have just escaped from a toxic and abusive relationship with a narcissist. You are slowly picking up the pieces and trying to get your life back in order, but somehow you feel like your head is not in the right place. Everything still feels very odd and you still feel very lost.

Even though you are free from the clutches of your narcissistic ex, this bizarre mental fog just won’t lift. Let’s explore how narcissists cause brain fog, and the link between brain fog and narcissistic abuse.