When Your Mother is a Narcissist
Only children of narcissists know the insidiousness of growing up with the crazy emotional mind games and conditioning they were raised with. Children of narcissists do not realize that they are being abused and conditioned in dysfunctional ways, until years into their adulthood and often years after entering therapy. Because a child’s vantage point is so limited, he has no idea that his upbringing is not “normal” and may even be harmful. Even if a child does realize that something is just not right with Mom, he still doesn’t understand how it has affected him or what to do about it.
Following are a list of the types of abuse experienced by those being raised with a narcissistic mother:
- She gives silent treatments when angry. This causes her children to feel guilty, responsible, and invisible.
- She flies into a rage over what appear to be innocuous events, causing her children to feel like they are navigating landmines.
- While getting angry over minutia, she often under-reacts over other things of monumental importance in her children’s lives, or by things that other parents would find very upsetting. Her priorities make no common sense.
- She is more concerned with what strangers think about her than what her children think or how they feel.
- She controls the entire family, including Dad, by her outlandish and unpredictable behaviors.
- Her children serve as actors in her screenplay; as subjects in her kingdom; as roles in her script; they are not valued for their individuality or uniqueness.
- Only one person’s emotions matter in the household – Mom’s.
- Only one person is allowed to express her emotions in the family – Mom.
- She is emotionally abusive, resulting in children struggling with self-loathing, confusion, and chronic anxiety.
- She creates cognitive dissonance in her children, which results in an inability to trust one’s own reality.
- She constantly implies to her children that they have somehow done something terrible to cause her to feel unhappy.
- Some narcissistic mothers pit siblings against each other, eroding one of life’s most important relationships – the one between siblings.