Growing up in a narcissistic family can be an incredibly difficult experience for daughters of narcissistic mothers (DoNM). Their mother’s lack of empathy, controlling and manipulative behaviour, and inability to recognize the needs and feelings of others leaves their daughters feeling isolated, worthless, ashamed and even resentful.
The outcomes of growing up in a narcissistic family depend on whether you were the golden child or the scapegoat.
If you were the golden child, chances are that your mother loved and praised you to the point of being overbearing.
If you were the scapegoat, then it’s likely that your mother constantly criticized and demeaned you.
No matter which role you played, the damage done to daughters by narcissistic mothers is significant.
A DoNM may struggle with low self-esteem, problems forming healthy relationships, and difficulty trusting others.
How Narcissistic Mothers Treat Their Daughters
Lack of empathy: Narcissists often have difficulty relating to the needs and feelings of others, including their own children. This can leave a DoNM feeling isolated, unheard, and even resentful.
Intense criticism: The narcissistic parent is likely to criticize or belittle their daughter for any minor mistake she makes, leading her to constantly feel inadequate or unworthy.
Gaslighting: Altering reality through manipulation and deception is a common tactic used by narcissists to make the victim doubt themselves and their beliefs.
Unwarranted blame: Instead of taking responsibility for their own behaviour or mistakes, the narcissistic parent may attempt to shift blame onto their daughter in an effort to maintain control over them.
Guilt trips: Manipulative guilt tips aimed at making the victim feel as though they are responsible for what has happened and that they should be grateful for their parent’s actions are also common forms of emotional abuse practiced by narcissistic mothers towards their daughters.
Playing favourites: Narcissistic parents may favour one child over another, creating tension between siblings and isolating their children from each other.
Parentification: Forcing their daughters to take on more responsibilities than they can handle at a young age, so that the narcissistic mother can avoid doing her share of work around the house.
Public humiliation/shaming: A narcissistic parent may publicly shame or humiliate their daughter in an effort to control her behaviour and maintain dominance over her decisions and actions outside of home life as well
No respect for boundaries: Narcissistic mothers may also show a lack of respect for boundaries. Examples include intruding on the daughter’s privacy, invading their personal space and making decisions on their behalf without consulting them.
The Impact of Narcissistic Mothers on DoNM
Low self-worth: The constant criticism and manipulation from narcissistic mothers often leaves DoNMs with low self-confidence, an inability to recognize their own worth, and a feeling that they aren’t deserving of good things.
Difficulty trusting others: The lack of empathy and respect for boundaries can lead to a DoNM having difficulty forming trusting relationships with other people as well as difficulty trusting their own judgement in the future.
Fear of failure: The narcissistic parent’s unrealistic expectations often leave their daughter feeling inadequate or afraid to take risks in life out of fear that she won’t be able to meet their standards.
Self-doubt: Constant doubts about her abilities based on her mother’s negative comments can cause a DoNM to second-guess herself and be reluctant to try new things out of fear of failure or rejection.
Disconnection/isolation: The lack of emotional connection between a daughter and a narcissistic mother can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially during times when the daughter needs support and understanding the most .
Anxiety/Depression: In some cases, the psychological effects of living with a narcissistic mother can have severe impacts such as increased anxiety, depression and other mental health issues due to the extreme loss of control over their lives caused by their parent’s behaviour..
Feelings of guilt/responsibility: A narcissistic parent may manipulate their daughter into taking on more responsibilities than necessary, leading her to feel guilty even when it isn’t her fault .
Unhealthy coping mechanisms: In order combat feelings like low self-worth or anxiety brought on by living with a narcissist, some victims might turn towards unhealthy coping mechanisms such substance abuse or self-harm as a way release stress or cope with troubling emotions.
Relationship problems due to lack of trust: A DoNM might find it difficult to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships due to the trust issues caused by being manipulated by her mother.
Can DoNM overcome their childhood trauma?
Yes, it is possible for DoNM to overcome their childhood trauma. While it’s not easy, it is possible for them to build self-esteem and healthy relationships with others, and learn new coping skills to help manage difficult emotions.
It’s important for the adult daughters of narcissistic mothers to seek out professional help from a therapist or counsellor who can provide support and guide them through the recovery process. Additionally, connecting with other survivors of narcissistic abuse can help them feel less alone in their journey and offer hope that they can heal.
Posts About Narcissistic Mothers
Carla Corelli is an author, advocate, and survivor of narcissistic abuse. Having grown up with a narcissistic father, Carla experienced firsthand the profound impact of psychological and emotional abuse. Fueled by her personal journey, she pursued a degree in psychology and has dedicated herself to shedding light on the complexities of narcissistic abuse.
With over fifteen years of experience in writing and advocating for survivors, Carla is deeply committed to providing support, education, and empowerment to those who have endured similar trauma. Through her insightful articles and resources, Carla endeavors to offer a compassionate space for healing and growth, while advocating for greater awareness and understanding of narcissistic abuse.
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