7 Things I Learned From Being Raised By A Narcissistic Mother

raised by narcissistic mother

2. You Are Enough.

You are not too much. You are not too little. When you succeed there is no “but” at the end of the sentence. When you fail, it doesn’t make you a failure. You are a human being. A work in progress. Your ups and your downs have value.

Michaela was always the first one to criticize herself. If she had success, it was never enough. “I didn’t do as well last month”. “It was easy”. “I still have so much to do” etc… It came from having a mother who would reject her over and over again. Later in life, Michaela married an abusive man who made sure to tell her how lucky she was to have found him.

In order to recover from these two toxic relationships, she had to recognize her own value and celebrate her successes.

Exercise

List everything you have achieved so far and celebrate every single achievement.

Related: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: Why They Are Never Good Enough

3. You Don’t Have To Compare Yourself To Others.

Many narcissistic parents will not put you down directly instead they will play you off against your siblings. You are good but look at your brother/sister who is better than you. Unfortunately, after many years of this treatment, one of the siblings will feel entitled and will probably become a bully, while the other one will feel less and less worthy.

Sandra was always compared to her sister. Her sister was the princess, the beautiful one, the one who could sing. Years later Sandra had trouble expressing herself without stuttering and had cut any connection to her sister. Her sister was entitled and frankly unpleasant. Sandra became shy and more and more introverted. It took her over 60 years to accept that she was brilliant, smart and actually beautiful.

Reflection

How would be your life if you knew you were lovable?

4. It’s Okay To Be You.

When you are put down for being who you are, you often decide it’s safer to become someone different.

My mom was an artist. She liked to be on stage, write and paint. I became a scientist. I was good at it but more importantly, it was the one thing I could do without competing with her. By the time I realized my gift was not being in front of a book or scientific journal but in connecting with others, I was in my late forties. I tried so long to not become my mom and to not compete with her that I forgot who I was.

Still, I have to admit that in some way, I’m just like her. I am an artist: a sculptor. I write books and articles, she wrote poems and plays. Like her, I love to be on stage. My goal is totally different though. Of course, I enjoy compliments and applause but more importantly, I do it to make a difference and inspire others.

You have a mission. You are meant to make a difference on this planet. The way you will contribute to the world is yours, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Reflection

What is your personal gift to the world?

5. You Have The Right To Speak Up And Be Visible.

How many of you heard statements like: “Kids are meant to be seen not heard”, “Don’t show off”, “Don’t be too much”, “Don’t be needy”, “Stop talking all the time”, “Who do think you are?” etc. How many of you grew up in families where it was safer to disappear?

I recently saw this brilliant cartoon of a parent talking to his kid: “Honey when you grow up, I want you to be assertive, independent, and strong-willed. But while you’re a kid, I want you to be passive, pliable and obedient”. Are you this kid? If so, it is your time to shine!

It might feel safer to stay in hiding but the world will be missing out on someone amazing: YOU. Take a chance and get out of your comfort zone. Maybe not in a crazy way. Maybe just 10% today. Or maybe go all the way. What do you have to lose?

Many of my clients have a vision. Oscar wants to be successful and make a difference by becoming a speaker and a leader in his industry. As a kid, he grew up with a bipolar dad and a depressed mom. As an adult, he tolerated being mistreated by others because he wanted to be accepted. Today, he has had enough. During our last hypnosis session, he got to talk to his future self: elegant, successful, and inspiring. Now he is taking the steps to become that man. One step at a time.

Reflection

What can you do today that would take you closer to being who are meant to become?

Related: Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers and The Damage They Suffer

3 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned From Being Raised By A Narcissistic Mother”

  1. Avatar of Des

    Thank you so much for writing this. Unfortunately, I know all too well how violent narcissists can get when threatened. My mother used her childhood trauma as a means of absolving herself of all guilt for how she treated me and my brother since she didn’t do to us what her mother did to her. To this day, I am very sensitive to touch, and I react quickly when I feel my boundaries are being crossed.

    I have finally started to grieve my childhood, and while it has been painful in many ways (the mind/body connection is real), I feel that I am taking real steps to be able to have real love in my life. I’ve been able to be more honest with my friends and supportive family members, and it’s helping me have deeper, more enriching relationships with them.

  2. Avatar of Maureen Banks

    thank you for your article! my mother was a narcissist supreme, i smiled thru your whole article. we have much in common. the feelings of worthlessness, uselessness to her are overwhelming at times. i had allot of physical violence unfortunately, growing up. I’ve done alot of work thru out my life, self-help, therapy, DBT groups, etc.,& i can still be affected to this day butt i keep on moving forward towards healing & health with my mom. she is 76 now i know to keep her safely at an arms length, for my own well being. it’s lonely at times, not really what you day dream of when you think about mothers but at least I’ve got one! I’m grateful for that! glass half full! some folks have no mother!

  3. Avatar of Kellie Ingram

    That would have been too obvious. It was a low-level dismissive statement, nice enough to sound like she was concerned for me and hurtful enough to still impact my self-esteem yearrs later. I have been trying to explain this. But always fall short. Insanely accurate … Ty

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