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How To Identify A Narcissistic Mom And Deal With The Toxicity & Trauma Caused?

Posted: May 6, 2021

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The world refuses to believe mothers can be toxic, what they forget is that mothers too are human beings, and can be extremely flawed at times, like narcissistic mothers.

While you are at the grocery store, you are just putting little little things into your cart and then at the check out counter the bill gives you a jolt. You wonder “how could it be that all these little things added upto such a huge amount?”

Well, that’s exactly what it feels like living with a narcissist. There are so many little little things that adds op and one fine day you wake up to a toxic relationship and how much the relationship is costing you.

We think that a mother can’t be wrong

Heaven under the feet of mothers- the indomitable celebration of motherhood in India. Thus the mother can’t be wrong. She is a sophomaniac (someone who thinks they know best) while she is dogmatic as she raises her child. The dogma says “It is like this” and then it is like this.

From many a sportsperson or a beauty pageant contestant we have heard of placing mothers on a pedestal as the role model who are masters at helping them meet this full range of human needs; from providing physical nourishment and safety, love and affection, all the way up to supporting emotional and spiritual growth. Means the entire famous Hierarchy of Human needs proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow.

Narcissistic mothers

There are heroic mothers, and there are mothers who live under the reflection of the heroic mothers and revel in that accolade- she is the narcissistic mother. The world refuses to believe mothers can be toxic, what they forget is that mothers too are human beings.

Mothers are epitome of love and sacrifice but then there are narcissists mothers too. Children believe mothers ‘do the best for them’ misunderstanding that sometimes the ‘them’ can mean mothers ‘themselves’

A narcissistic mother lives self love. Her manipulation is often skilled, subtle and camouflaged. She can be aggressive or passive. She doesn’t brook disappointment, or dissent. There is very little room in her emotional consciousness for the feelings of her children.

It’s difficult being a child of a narcissistic mom

Children of narcissist mothers feed on the validation of mothers. Daughters of narcissistic mothers will often be perfectionistic in a misguided attempt to win their mother’s love. This rejection of love from the mother becomes deep rooted childhood trauma. Children live under the guise they are not good enough to be loved.

A mother who is narcissistic is interested in how you reflect on her. She will misguide you to believe that she wants you to succeed, but only so that she looks good to to others. She will then nurture jealously if you perform better, because she is the best. She will make you feel inadequate. Her love for you is only exhibition to others and thus shallow.

Criticism is in her dictionary but only one way. She will give you feedback but you dare not give one to her. If she does something that upsets you, she won’t acknowledge her mistake or soothe your upset making you confused. They are too focused on trying to manage the shame elicited by your implied criticism. She would make you seem she is your support, but most often she will turn it around so that it becomes about her.

NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is a reality and those who are under that shadow would need recovery form CPSTD (Complex- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)– which includes kids and other family members in case of a narcissistic mother.

Author’s note: Disclaimer – I am a mother and I have a mother, but this is not about me nor about her; it is not personal to me. This is about many clients of mine who have toxic parents.

First published here.

Image source: a still from the film Khoobsoorat

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Jaseena Backer is a Psychologist. The world knows her as a Parenting Strategist and Gender

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