Jan 13th 2023
Practicing kindness, nurturement and encouragement is the essence of being a good parent. As children, we depend on our parents to provide a secure environment where we can learn to trust others and feel fulfilled.
Narcissistic mothers fail in this respect. Their actions are typically self-serving and they lack empathy for the needs of their children. This can stunt child’s emotional development and lead to severe long-term consequences.
Narcissism is characterized by a self-centered approach to life, a lack of empathy for others, and an overblown sense of grandiosity .
Those who persistently exhibit these characteristics alongside a compulsive need for attention and admiration, interpersonal struggles, and displays of excessive volatility can be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) .
Technically speaking, a person must display five or more of the following characteristics to be diagnosed with NPD .
Most parents suffer when their child is in pain. They are attuned their child’s thoughts, needs and fears and try to respond in a compassionate manner.
A narcissistic mother can regularly act cold or oblivious towards their child. She will typically not even try to understand their child, only engaging with them when she feels it may benefit her.
For example, research indicates a mother exploiting two of her disabled children . She neglects to use the funding provided to support their quality of life, instead using it for her own financial benefit 
A narcissistic mother can diminish their child’s personal identity. Anything positive you do is seen as the work of the mother. Her role in raising you and the genes she passed on are lauded as the key reasons for your success.
She may claim credit for other people’s impact on your journey too. For example, your teachers or sports coaches – she may talk about how much she paid/how much time she spent researching so you could achieve.
Conversely, anything you may do that does not please your narcissistic mother will be rejected and she will disassociate herself from you.
A narcissistic mother will pit her children against one another to manipulate and control their behavior. For example, she may dote on one child whilst snapping at the other to be more like them. This damages the relationship between siblings and teaches the children to derive self-worth by comparing themselves to others.
Gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse characterized by an individual purposefully misrepresenting the truth in order to alter another person’s perception of reality. This makes them easier to control.
Narcissistic mothers can gaslight their children in numerous ways. For example, when confronted about repeated bouts of criticism, a narcissistic mother may tell you you’re overreacting or that it was ‘just a joke’ and you ought to ‘toughen up’.
Alternatively, they may claim that you’re misremembering the incidents in question or deny they happened altogether. They may then seek to calm you, presenting themselves as the one person you can rely on, reinforcing their position of control.
A narcissistic mother may scold her child for outdoing her or drawing attention away from her. She will not celebrate your talents or achievements unless she’s instructed you to do so for her gain. Instead, she may criticize you for intentionally seeking to outperform her to make her feel bad.
The effects of being raised by a narcissistic mother will depend on how long you spent being raised by her, how severe her NPD was and if you had any positive support in your life. In many instances, abuse suffered from a narcissistic mother can lead to long-term implications .
Here are nine effects a narcissistic mother can have on their child:
In these situations, you can play the role of the narcissistic abuser or the victim. You may do this in relationships with a romantic partner, a friend or a colleague. This does not resolve the trauma – it increases it – leading to the creation of more toxic interactions in your life.
The criticism and shame you’ve suffered at the hands of your narcissistic mother may well have damaged your self-esteem. You may have always been made to feel as though you deserved the abuse.
You did not; no one deserves to be abused.
It is essential for your recovery that you learn to stop blaming yourself.. Recognizing it was not your fault your mother failed to parent you appropriately is a core step towards recovery. Children deserve nurturement, respect and unconditional love.
Clearly lay out what behavior you will not accept from your narcissistic mother.
This is much easier said than done, especially if you’ve been subjected to narcissistic abuse for a prolonged period.
You may find that when you summon the courage to set boundaries with your narcissistic mother, they try to undermine you, claim they’re overreacting or deny any wrongdoing on their part.
Try not to let them influence you. You know you find their narcissistic behavior problematic, and you have the right to state what you are not OK with.
For example, in a scenario where you have a different opinion, let them know that while you are open to debate, you will not tolerate them insulting you or calling you names. You can inform them that the consequence of doing so will be your departure.
People with NPD are not empathetic; they respond to consequences. They care about how your actions will affect them. If you inform a narcissistic of a boundary, and consistently refuse to tolerate their violation of the boundary, you can reclaim control of your identity and limit their toxic impact on your life.
Setting boundaries with your narcissistic mother is one step towards taking better care of yourself.
Recognize the damage done to your nervous system from narcissistic abuse and take steps to heal from the effects of the trauma.
Meditation can be an effective treatment for anxiety  and stress brought about by abuse from narcissistic parents. Our brains’ neural pathways can be altered through learning and meditation may facilitate this process .
Additionally, leaning on trusted individuals for support can be useful in combating narcissistic abuse. Friends, family members or even colleagues you are close to can provide empathy and succor if you choose to confide in them.
Seeing a therapist can be very helpful as you try to heal. They will listen to your problems and provide professional insights, and together you can form a recovery plan.
In some scenarios, group therapy can help. Speaking with others who have a mother with NPD can prove reassuring.
A no contact approach could be the most beneficial for you in certain cases.
If your narcissistic mother is constantly flouting your boundaries, damaging your emotional state and none of the steps you’ve taken have worked, then cutting off all contact may be best.
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