Ok so first I do have background in psychology BUT I’m writing this thread mostly from my experience and from a background of 10+ years of helping my clients and my close friends and myself. It’s rough out here and I noticed the hands on work yields more perspective with emotionally nuanced things like this.
When you grow up with a narcissistic mother it’s confusing. As with all narcissistic parents, you start off being a bother as a baby, just something to show off but emotional needs, outbursts and selfless attention and time are usually a bother UNLESS your mom thinks it makes them look like a good mom to handle these things well.
Narcissistic mothers feed off of their image of what they feel “makes” a good mother. Sometimes we get lucky and some of those things are nice. But emotional empathy is ALWAYS missing at the end of the day. Even emotionally “supportive” was moreso centered around the support THEY felt like you needed. Any emotional request outside of what THEY feel is valid gets shut down, berated and they self victimize instead of just giving you what you’re asking for. There is no genuine empathy.
When you’re young, you usually become some type of doll. Like you’re pretty, you’re great in school, you’re well behaved and these things are constantly bragged about. It gets confusing bc this is usually how narcissistic mothers show their love. Being “proud” of you for the things that reflect good on them.
The MOST confusing thing is your mom will constantly exclaim about how much she loves her kids, how she’ll do anything for them all this shit right. She’ll constantly tell you who SHE is and how you SHOULD view her. Honestly it takes time and space to break this rhetoric and see the reality of how selfish she is bc you get taught you shouldn’t hold her accountable for her faults bc of all that she does to try so hard for you and how much she had to sacrifice to be a mother.
It’s veryyy hard to stop making excuses for your mom but it’s important bc if you don’t, you internalize all of that resentment and rage designed for her and it comes out in how you feel about yourself, it makes you guilty for having boundaries with people and saying no.
Once you start getting into puberty tho you become the enemy. Even before that, when you start developing your own individuality you’re suddenly “disrespectful” and unappreciative of all your mom does if you’re not submitting to them and their advice or you letting them over rule you.
This starts the battle. Your mom will then find ways to let you know you’re inadequate. It’ll either come from hyper criticism in the name of “trying to help” or it’ll be downright insults when you’re doing something you’re own way instead of the way they’re telling you to or “suggesting” you to.
If you have a mom who flies into violent narcissistic rage you’ll be called everything in the book when she feels challenged. One way my mom would berate me even as a grown woman would be to refer to me as “little girl” or once called me “her bastard bitch”. I mean it gets nasty.
If you have a mom who goes into a quiet narcissistic rage she’ll become the hyper victim, self loathing and guilt trip you until you feel bad and stop trying to hold her accountable for whatever you’re confronting her with.
You having your identity is literally threatening to your moms identity. If she can’t take credit for every part of you, her self loathing and jealousy will kick in and she will try to project those feelings onto you.
This creates a lot of self doubt when you become an adult. It feels easier to put yourself down than to build yourself up. You may not believe when other people compliment you or are nice to you. You may struggle with depression and not know how to give yourself positive reinforcement.
You may also start to feel competitive with other women bc of the distrust. This comes more from the guilt tripping mothers. You feel like you constantly have to be “beneath” others which can create an inferiority complex. It can cause you to withdraw and self loath when needing help bc you may feel like you don’t deserve the help, like you needing help is an inconvenience.
If you have the more violent nasty mothers, you may be downright avoidant of forming healthy relationships with other women. It may be hard for you to let them in and be soft. You may feel overly self sufficient and not really comfortable asking anyone for help. You don’t want to be viewed as a weak bitch. And that’s on berating from our moms whenever we actually need help.
HOW TO HEAL:
First, it’s a process. You may need to get a therapist to help you expand your awareness on how things have impacted you but if you feel like you have a good grip it may not be necessary. Start to notice how your mom speaks to you on the everyday and the defenses that’s created with others.
Then, notice how you were spoken to as a child and how that’s helped shape your inner dialogue. Next, notice how your emotions have been handled by your mom and how you’ve transferred this into your relationship with yourself and with others. This one is hard bc there’s so much unlearning to do with how to emotionally handle people when they’re vulnerable and how to handle your own vulnerability.
Cry it out. Cry for the little girl who put her moms feelings first. Cry for the little girl who wanted her mom to change. Cry for the little girl who had more empathy for her moms situation than her own. Cry for the woman who feels betrayed. Cry for the woman who feels shorted from having a good relationship with their mom. Cry for the woman who doesn’t have the advocacy they very much need from the person who birth them. Cry because it hurts 💔
If you’re into holistic healing I have a guided meditation that could help with the process. I needed this A LOT when becoming a mother. And to become a better version of myself. I hope this helped, and it does get better 💖💖💖