Daughters of Elderly Narcissistic Mothers

The impact of having a narcissistic mother on her daughter can be long-lasting and debilitating. When these daughters grow up, they are faced with even more complex challenges as they find themselves having to contend with their elderly narcissistic mothers, who become even harder to deal with as they age.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers

Narcissistic mothers were not easy to deal with to start with. However they become even more demanding and inconsiderate of their daughters’ feelings and needs as they age.

They become further entrenched in their narcissistic behavior and less willing to recognize the difficulties that their daughters are facing.

The result is a recipe for mental anguish for their daughters.

The Impact of Narcissistic Mothers on Daughters

Daughters of narcissistic mothers often carry the burden of their upbringing well into adulthood.

The lack of maternal warmth, coupled with constant criticism and manipulation, leaves a lasting imprint on their lives.

Difficulty to Trust

Daughters of narcissistic mothers frequently bear the brunt of conditional love, making them question the dependability of affection and validation.

This exposure to unreliable emotional support can create a pervasive sense of insecurity that extends into their adult relationships.

They may find themselves constantly on guard, fearing betrayal or abandonment.

This difficulty in trusting others often leads to strained relationships, as they struggle to truly open up and form deep, meaningful connections.

conditional love

Emotional Co-dependence

Narcissistic mothers often fail to provide the nurturing environment that is critical for their daughters’ emotional development.

Rather than fostering a sense of self-worth and independence, these mothers breed an intense need for external approval in their daughters.

This unhealthy dynamic can lead to emotional co-dependence. These daughters continuously seek validation from others, often at the cost of their own happiness and self-fulfillment.

They may find themselves in unbalanced relationships, perpetually attempting to please others and neglecting their own needs and desires in the process.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers find it difficult to trust

Struggles with Self-Worth

Subjected to the relentless critical eye of a narcissistic mother and enduring a constant barrage of criticism from their narcissistic mother, daughters internalize the harsh judgements and negative feedback.

They struggle to recognize their own worth and abilities, seeing themselves through the distorted lens of their mother’s unrealistic expectations.

This lack of self-belief can impede their personal growth, making it difficult for them to assert themselves in various aspects of life.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers struggle with self-worth

Paralyzing Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is a common thread among daughters of narcissistic mothers.

Having been raised by a parent who is excessively critical and unforgiving of mistakes, these daughters develop an overpowering fear of failure.

This fear can become a crippling factor, causing immense stress, anxiety, and self-doubt when they are faced with new challenges or decisions.

The thought of disappointing others or not meeting expectations can paralyze them, preventing them from taking risks or pursuing opportunities.

This fear, if left unaddressed, can limit their potential and keep them trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and avoidance.

fear of failure

People Pleasing Tendencies

As a coping mechanism for their mother’s narcissism, daughters often develop people-pleasing habits.

They end up continuously prioritizing the needs of others over their own, suppressing their own desires and aspirations in the process.

This constant deference to others can make it challenging for them to assert themselves or articulate their true desires.

Over time, this pattern can lead to a loss of personal identity as they become more concerned with satisfying others than fulfilling their own needs.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers lose their identity

Suppressed Emotional Expression

As children, the daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers were denied the emotional validation that was crucial for their psychological development.

As a result they struggle to express their emotions freely in adulthood.

Fear of rejection or invalidation can cause them to suppress their feelings, leading to a disconnect between their internal emotional state and external expression.

This repression can compound over time, complicating their emotional growth and making it difficult for them to form authentic, emotionally intimate relationships.

elderly narcissistic mothers

How Narcissistic Mothers Get Worse With Age

As they age, narcissistic mothers become increasingly demanding and controlling.

They take advantage of their daughters’ love, loyalty and trust, manipulating them and using them to get the attention they crave.

Elderly narcissistic mothers become even more emotionally abusive. Their daughters feel unheard, criticized and even shamed for not living up to her standards.

This can create a nightmare of an environment for victimized daughters, who often find it difficult to stand up for themselves.

Loss of Patience

As narcissists age, they become increasingly intolerant and impatient with anything that threatens their sense of control.

This can lead to impulsive outbursts or aggressive behaviour if the individual does not get what they want when and how they want it.

Elderly narcissistic mothers will try to manipulate those around them into providing what they need.

They become even more entitled, expecting unconditional compliance from their daughters.

When those expectations are not met, the narcissist’s patience will quickly run out and they will lash out furiously.

This behavior is particularly galling for anyone trying to help them, as any kindness could be met with explosive anger in response.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers

Struggling with the Impact of Aging

As they age, narcissists become increasingly obsessed with the loss of their youthful looks and beauty.

This can lead to intense feelings of jealousy and resentment of those who are still in possession of youth, beauty, and vitality such as their daughters.

As a result, elderly narcissistic mothers become increasingly critical and emotionally abusive as a way of punishing their daughters for still having what they now lack – their youth and beauty.

These abusive outbursts are often used as a form of retaliation towards the daughter but also to reassert the mother’s authority in order to gain back some semblance of domination and control.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers

Becoming More Controlling

Elderly narcissistic mothers become even more controlling and domineering in their attempts to maintain power and authority, using guilt, manipulation, and shame to control their daughters.

They are deeply aware of the fact that they are past their prime, and this feeling of vulnerability drives them to exert authority in any way possible, including attempting to dictate the choices of those around them, including their daughters.

Succumbing to Paranoia

Elderly narcissistic mothers become increasingly paranoid and suspicious of any perceived disrespect, which can lead to berating outbursts or vindictive behavior towards their long suffering daughters.

This paranoia causes further strain in relationships between the mother and her children, making it even more difficult to build or maintain a loving connection.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers

Tips for Daughters Dealing with Elderly Narcissistic Mothers

Dealing with an elderly narcissistic mother can be difficult and draining, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Taking care of your own boundaries and well- being is key, as well as reaching out for help if needed.

With the right techniques and support, it is possible to navigate these tricky relationships in a more positive way.

Set Healthy Boundaries

It’s important to set healthy boundaries when dealing with your mother.

Make sure to communicate your expectations to her clearly by expressing what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of behavior and interactions.

Inform your mother what your boundaries are. Make sure she understands them and is aware of what would happen should she not respect them.

If she violates these expectations, do not hesitate to calmly remind her about the boundaries and remind her of the consequences for breaking them.

It is very important to keep in mind that if she persists in ignoring your ground rules, you must follow through, or she will never respect your boundaries.

If you are talking to her on the phone, then you should end the call.

If, on the other hand, you are visiting her, tell her calmly that you are leaving and that you hope that you can have a better visit next time.

Unfortunately, in most cases this is the only way that the narcissist will get the message.

Don’t Give In

Even if it feels easier to just go along with what your mother wants, try not to cave in if it isn’t an option you are comfortable with.

Giving in will only reinforce her feelings of control over the situation, while leaving you feeling resentful and unheard.

Stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to express your opinion or say no when needed.

Don’t sacrifice your own feelings just to make her happy – by doing so, you are only enabling her narcissistic behavior.

daughters of elderly narcissistic mothers

Let Her Have Her Moments

It’s important to be understanding of the struggles and frustrations she may be feeling due to age, while still being firm on boundaries.

Give her some space to express her emotions and let her have her moments.

Acknowledge how she is feeling and try to reach an understanding through empathy.

Show patience as she may not always be able to articulate what is bothering her in a productive way, but also don’t let this go unchecked – make sure to address any inappropriate behavior calmly and firmly.

Take Care of Yourself

It is essential to take care of yourself when dealing with an elderly narcissistic mother.

Make sure to prioritize your own needs and remember that you don’t have to put up with any kind of unhealthy behavior from anyone, no matter who it is.

Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries or taking time for yourself – in the end, this will only serve to help your relationship in the long run.

Look after yourself and don’t let her words or actions take too deep a toll on your emotional wellbeing.

take care of yourself

Seek Help

If you need support or advice dealing with a difficult situation with your elderly narcissistic mother, reaching out for help from a qualified mental health professional can be beneficial.

Don’t try to go through it alone if you feel overwhelmed or in need of advice – a therapist will be able to provide unbiased support and guidance.

Talking through the situation can help give you clarity on how best to handle it, as well as offering space to bring up feelings and emotions that may have been suppressed.


Final Thoughts for Daughters of Elderly Narcissistic Mothers

It is difficult to navigate the complexities of dealing with a narcissistic mother, especially as they age.

It’s also essential to look after your own needs and ensure that you are prioritizing your mental and physical health.

Taking breaks, seeking out a support network, and consulting with a qualified professional if needed can all be helpful in providing guidance and allowing you to take care of yourself first.

Ultimately, no one deserves to be treated poorly by another person, regardless of age or status – it is essential to remember this when dealing with a difficult relationship.

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2 thoughts on “Daughters of Elderly Narcissistic Mothers”

  1. I am a caregiver for my elderly narcissist mother, who lives with me. I generally bend over backwards to meet her needs and those of my invalid husband. Today, theoretically a vacation day for me, I had to attend an appointment my husband had made for me without asking early in the morning. My mother wanted me to wash her hair before I went out. I explained that the appointment was early and that I would come straight home and wash her hair when I got home. When I got home, she had washed her hair, said I had time for everyone but her, and shut herself in her room. I recognize this as manipulative behavior, but I still feel angry and hurt, and I don’t know what to do.

    • Hi Elizabeth, I’m sorry to hear about the difficult situation you’re facing. It can be challenging to balance caregiving responsibilities while also attending to your own needs. It’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is crucial in order to provide effective care for others. In this specific situation, you made a reasonable decision to prioritize your husband’s appointment and reassured your mother that you would attend to her needs afterward. It’s understandable that you feel angry and hurt by your mother’s reaction. She clearly leveraged the situation to guilt you into being at her beck and call. This is not OK.
      When your mother is ready to talk, calmly express how her actions made you feel. Use “I” statements to express your emotions without placing blame. For example, say, “I felt hurt and frustrated when you implied that I am not taking good care of you.”
      Make it clear that while her wellbeing is one of your priorities, it is not the only one, and you have an obligation to also take care of yourself and your husband. These are boundaries that she must respect.
      To be honest I am concerned because it is very clear that you have a lot on your plate. Have you prioritised taking a break or doing something for yourself, as opposed to only caring for your mother and husband? It’s important to recharge. Are there any options for respite care in the area you live in, or is there someone who can step in to take care of your mother while you get away, even if just for a few hours?
      In the meantime I am sending you lots of love. Take care of yourself!


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