Have you been seeking helpful insights into the narcissistic mother-daughter relationship pattern and dynamics? I’m a daughter of a narcissistic mother to whom I was a scapegoat and who was raised as a scapegoat-daughter by a narcissistic mother.
I’ve not only experienced but also observed narcissistic mother-daughter relationship. Today, I want to share with you the effects of a narcissistic mother on her daughter. Also, I will reveal to you the daughters of narcissistic mothers symptoms and explain how to deal with a narcissistic mother to protect yourself.
The purpose of this blog post about narcissistic mother traits is to help you gain clarity on your own situation by examining specific and very common narcissistic abuse examples from my personal experiences and those of others. We will discuss in great detail how narcissistic mothers affect their daughters and the characteristics of daughters of narcissistic mothers.
I assume that, reading this, you’re a daughter of a narcissistic mother and you’re seeking to unravel your story, to understand your wounds, to get your many questions answered, and to heal your pain.
Right now, you might be confused or even in denial. That’s where I was when I started my journey of healing six years ago. I did not understand much about either myself or my mother but I was in pain, and I had never faced it. My mother taught me to prioritize my looks over my feelings. Well, my feelings didn’t even exist in my mother’s world where everything in life was about her feelings, for which I was responsible 100%.
I was a high achiever who performed excellently and was very busy. Busyness helped me avoid myself and this very painful topic. So, I lived blissfully-ignorant, carrying all the burdens imposed on me by my mother, and never acknowledging my pain or suffering. I was maniacally-happy all the time, as was expected of me. It is one of the common characteristics of the daughters of narcissistic mothers.
Then, I hit the rock bottom with my addiction.
READ: Sex Addiction Symptoms
It was 2014. I started canceling all my social events appearances and making time on my calendar to be alone and face my stuff. I began understanding my childhood and my journey to where I was at the time.
I slowly started to get to know Anna – me.
My life was finally making sense, though the realization and examination of all the abuse I endured made me sick in the meantime throughout the healing journey. This work also helped me become disillusioned and stand strong on my two feet in life, in general.
I became my own person, fully reliant on God, abiding in Him, and no longer walking in my own power. So, that rid me of my addictions and my need for busyness. I don’t avoid myself anymore. I have true peace in my life. I’m able to experience genuine joy. I grew closer to God. I got baptized.
Since then, I was called to ministry. I dedicated my ministry, Online Discipleship For Women, to helping you create a joyful life by embracing God’s word. Before we start examining God’s word about how narcissistic mothers affect their daughters, let’s lay all our stuff on a table.
Beware: it will be hurtful.
There will be some really strong language.
Here’s the truth…
You’ve experienced gaslighting and feel crazy so you doubt your reality and question your understanding of your mother and your relationship with her.
You’ve endured projection as a mental manipulation tactic, so you feel guilty for your mom’s faults, you’re suffocated by the shame she imposed on you, and you’re hard on yourself because you feel like you must perform for love, you must always do more to win acceptance, validation, and approval.
God called me to help you by sharing my real pain.
He comforted me and asked me to give you comfort. Now, this doesn’t mean that my blog post is very comfortable. God’s comfort is not worldly comfort. It can only be understood and experienced in the Spirit.
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments1 Corinthians 2:13-15
This article is written by me, about my own life, without any sugarcoating or censoring, so that you can see how I truly feel about all the events I share, so that you can relate to what I’m sharing, and gain perspective on your own situation effectively, without any further confusion.
I am fully human.
READ: How To Be Fully Human
I write all my own articles. The strong language in this article has not been edited. It remains unedited. I prayed about this and asked God why such strong language should remain on my Christian blog for women.
The answer I received was this: I should not pretend to feel any different than I actually do, I shall speak about this matter in writing exactly as I do when talking, I must not try to portray myself better than I actually am but be real and be my exact everyday self.
God called me to ministry as I am, in my exact condition.
Each one should remain in the condition in which she was called.1 Corinthians 7:20
God equipped and prepared me for ministry, and He gave me my unique personality to help His children so they can relate to me because everyone is different. I am no wallflower. I use strong language, and you will see it. If you feel you’ll get offended, click away right now. Do not continue reading.
Even though I’m not good with words, I know what I’m talking about.1 Corinthians 11:6
So, here’s how this will flow.
I will tell you about my own narcissistic mother-daughter relationship, explain the 55 traits of a narcissistic mother, give you narcissistic abuse examples shared by other women, provide you with 20 characteristics of daughters of narcissistic mothers, tell you about the impact of narcissistic abuse on the daughters of narcissistic mothers, answer some questions that are asked frequently, and then tell you how to deal with a narcissistic mother.
If this plan works for you, let’s get started!
I Am a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother
This topic is extremely painful for me, and I’ve procrastinated three weeks to write this blog post. Why? Well, truth be told, I am not writing here on my blog the articles about narcissistic abuse just because I read in a book about it. No.
I experienced severe abuse first-hand.
I know what I share here applies to me as much as to you. In my article called Narcissistic Mother Explained I shared how dangerous it is to keep in contact with a very abusive mother, especially after she had expressed her genuine intentions. My mother said repeatedly that she wants me dead, and she forced me into suicide twice.
READ: My Suicide Story
Yet, I was deceived three weeks ago by my mother again. She lured me back into a relationship with her by telling me she needs money, which I sent her, after which she started emailing me 50-70 times a day demanding a response to every email and every question, and if I didn’t respond, withing 10 minutes, there was another email asking me what’s wrong and why I’m ignoring her.
I fell for this scheme after I had already advised all daughters of narcissistic mothers to practice no-contact. Was that stupid? Yes, it really was. Yet, I’m a human. In my human heart, there’s a hole, and it causes me to long for my mother. No, let me take that back. I long not for my mother but for a motherly mother. My mother was a child to me, I was her mother. So, after all, I never had a mother, and I am longing for one, every day, whether I acknowledge it or pretend like I don’t care. The longing for a mother is present in my heart every day.
I actually wrote a book about my story of growing up. It’s a collection of three autobiographical fairytales, and you can download it below. Also, I recommend writing your own narrative about your own story of growing up. It’s a highly-recommended healing technique, and it helped me tremendously.
Here’s my Princess Lana Fairytales book for you.
What do you think happened to me three weeks ago? My mother spent six hours over Skype video criticizing and condemning me. It was toxic.
I stayed online with her to observe what was happening as if I weren’t Anna but Anna’s therapist. “What would I witness?” – I asked myself when the whole thing started on Saturday morning three weeks ago – “If I weren’t Anna but an independent third-party observer appointed by the court to a child Anna?”
Such a role is called a Guardian ad Litem.
I worked with a Guardian ad Litem when I was married to my second husband who had two boys. Their mother was bipolar, and Philip, my ex-husband, had full custody of Philip and Alan.
Renu, the mother, filed for a modification to custody after Philip and I got married, and all the years of our marriage we spent in a court battle. Eventually, I left and we divorced.
Early on after Renu filed the lawsuit, the judge appointed a Guardian ad Litem to represent the boys in the case, kind of in the same way each attorney represented each parent.
The Guardian ad Litem showed up at our home, at the boys’ school, always unexpected, and he observed the life of the children, the conversations, how they were talked to, and how they were treated.
So, as soon as I realized on Saturday three weeks ago that I was deceived again, I decided to step out of myself, Anna, and witness everything as if I were Anna’s Guardian ad Litem, which she never had. Anna never had anyone to stand up for her to her mother… Yes, I’m talking about myself in a third person. You should try it, too, it would give you a greater perspective on your own story.
After what happened, God put on my heart to write this article and share with you about the effects of a narcissistic mother on her daughter, about dealing with a narcissistic mother, about the “daughters of narcissistic mothers symptoms,” about the dynamics between narcissistic mothers and their daughters, about the kinds of things narcissistic mothers say, about the characteristics of daughters of narcissistic mothers. about confronting a narcissistic mother, and about forgiving a narcissistic mother.
I didn’t write it then because I woke up crying every morning. I was exhausted by my overwhelming grief, and I needed to process every little bit of it, which I did. I journaled, prayed, walked 10,00-23,000 steps daily, meditated using a Christian guided meditation library, dove deep into God’s word, and grew a lot as the result of all this trauma.
The important thing I learned this time is this: there’s a longing in my heart, it will always be there, I am sad about not having a motherly mother, yet, I have a blessed life, I trust that God is good, that He has a perfect plan, that I am a part of His perfect plan, and that He will use my pain and tears for His good.
To accept all this after six hours of terror and torture, I needed time. Now, I’m ready to write this article hoping that it will help you in some way if you’re trying to figure out your own story, feelings, and identity.
- Being the Child of a Narcissistic Mother
- Things Narcissistic Mothers Say
- Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
- How To Deal With a Narcissistic Mother
- Honest Answers to 20 Frequently Asked Questions About Narcissistic Mothers
- What Does The Bible Say About a Narcissistic Mother?
- Dealing with a Narcissistic Mother
- What Happens to Children of Narcissistic Mothers?
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
- An Open Letter To My Mother
This blog post will help you answer such questions as “Is my mother a narcissist?” and “How to deal with a narcissistic mother” as well as “Characteristics of daughters of narcissistic mothers” and “Forgiving a narcissistic mother.”
Let’s start by answering “Is my mother a narcissist?”
Narcissistic Mother: 55 Traits
- She treats you as inferior, she feels and acts superior.
- She makes you feel like you are a burden and should never have been born.
- She controls and manipulates you: she blows everything you do out of proportion, she showers you with looks of disappointment and disapproval.
- She offers no unconditional love, all her love is based on your performance, you have to win her approval and love.
- She is ego-driven, self-absorbed, and inconsiderate of your needs.
- She violates your boundaries or simply doesn’t recognize them at all: she reads your diary, provides no privacy, invades your space, complains about your personal business to everyone in front of you, and shares private details of your life with strangers in order to humiliate and embarrass you.
- She tells you of the debt that can never be repaid by you, she says she sacrificed everything to give you life; this causes you much confusion, disappointment, frustration, pain, and self-doubt.
- She competes with you, which makes you feel awkward and confused about your identity.
- She befriends your friends and even flirts with your boyfriend.
- She steals the ownership for your accomplishments and presents them as her own, unless she simply dismisses them.
- She makes every little inconvenience your fault and imposes guilt and shame on you, projecting all her mistakes on you.
- She is jealous of you.
- She tells you how you feel, so you can never be sure of reality, she minifies or dismisses everything you say about your experiences or feelings.
- She is emotionally unavailable and doesn’t know how to talk about emotions: you say you feel hurt and she says you are dangerous.
- She wants you to be her narcissistic supply, manipulate you, and guilt you into complete and total submission, she dreams to make your life miserable.
- She treats you as her scapegoat – a sacrifice that can make her look like a good person in the eyes of others and win her approval and admiration.
- She also has the golden child – some other child whom she treats with privileges.
- She is a boldface liar and will do anything to get what she wants.
- She diverts conversations to herself: every problem is about how negatively she feels about you, which causes confusion in you.
- She struggles with self-loathing and fragile ego so she makes everything about herself.
- She fails to protect you from harm, she doesn’t care or even enjoys seeing you being harmed because she wishes for you to be punished, she’s cruel.
- She puts up a facade, she cares so much about what people think and say, she wants people to admire her, so she plays nice with you around others, but she abuses you 1:1.
- She guilts and shames you in a very dramatic and threatening way and she uses any means to get what she wants from you.
- She’s emotionally untrustworthy and you know it.
- She is confident that nothing is wrong with her.
- She genuinely wants you to sacrifice your life to worship her.
- She imposes on you the scars that are massive but invisible to others so no one can believe you, in fact, they believe you’re ungrateful since you have such a wonderful mother.
- She is committed to torturing you forever, she will never stop.
- She is mean and cruel, and she tortures you for your perceived imperfections.
- She wants you to live with her and depend on her so she can exercise power over you and torture you.
- She judges others, believes she’s the most talented, beautiful, smart, capable, and she exaggerates everything; she wants you to engage in gossip with her to make her feel good about herself.
- She makes you feel exhausted and hurt, it’s overwhelming to be her daughter.
- She is incapable of nurturing you.
- She derives her sense of self from you, she “loves’ you for how she sees herself in you.
- She created the illusion of a loving and sacrificial mother to win admiration and compliments from people.
- She envies you.
- She is severely deficient on empathy and compassion.
- She causes conflict, chaos, and confusion within you and within the family.
- She is incapable of affection, except toward her golden child whom she’s grooming to admire and worship her forever.
- She defends her delusional persona at all costs.
- She accuses you of being inconsiderate and selfish if you don’t meet her every need.
- She brags about herself all the time, even painting herself a victim making sacrifices for you, only to win other’s admiration.
- She persuades you that you’re a failure, will never amount to anything, and can’t live without her.
- She seeks pity from people to get attention by exaggerating everything.
- She portrays herself as super-strong, persevering despite her victimhood.
- She treats you with neglect because she doesn’t care about you.
- She makes you feel guilty for wanting to build your own life.
- She considers any difference in opinions as disrespect and rages at you balming you for having an opinion.
- She shames you for wanting to live life on your own terms and pursue greatness.
- She is violent and aggressive toward you.
- She intentionally hinders the process of your maturing because she needs you to remain under her influence and power.
- She shares inappropriate information with you to create an illusion of friendship, violating boundaries and making you feel awkward, as well as robbing you of your childhood.
- She gives you random abusive calls and sends messages expecting you to listen to her poisoning stream of unconsciousness.
- She expects you to vulnerably disclose everything about yourself, whatever she asks.
- She treats you with a reward-punishment system, she expects you to meet all her demands or else.
Narcissistic mother treats you as inferior and acts superior
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her feeling of superiority. My mom always treated me as is I were her servant. I had to do her laundry, dishes, peel a 10-liter bucket of potatoes for her regularly, clean the entire four-bedroom condo where ten people lived, and she deployed my child-labor to farm and also to make money by selling homemade food to travelers at a railroad station in Kursk, Russia.
My mom, like all narcissists, lacks conscience so she is incapable of empathy or compassion. I am about to give you a very specific example. If you have a heart for children, if you’re easily impressionable, do not read the next four paragraphs. Skip them.
One time, when I was very little, my mom stormed into my bedroom, which was a normal occurrence. She was enraged, disappointed, and screamed at me. She intimidated me and pushed me into the right corner of my room. Near the door, I had my little bed, to the right, and there was…. a vase.
A vase was not something that you could find easily in Soviet Russia. We had nothing. I literally mean empty shelves everywhere in all stores. Often, we had nothing to eat. I wore second-hand underwear and shoes growing up. A vase was like gold, it was a treasure for her. You might be wondering why the heck that treasure was in my bedroom. I have no clue.
So, my angry mom, with all her raging body moves, hit the vase, which fell on the floor and crushed. She was furious! She told me I crushed her vase and will owe her for the rest of my life. She screamed how she will never ever forget this or forgive me for crushing her vase.
My mother stopped talking to me for a very long time and completely ignored me, giving me the silent treatment. Then, my mother forced me to fall on my knees and follow her on my knees throughout the house begging her to forgive me for her crushed vase…
Let me go get some Kleenex.
Yes. That was a painful example. Now, how did this play out in the conversation over Skype video three weeks ago? Here’s how. She gets online. It’s the first time we see each other in years, and I mean online, because in real life my mother saw me last time in 2008, on July 30th. She had never seen me after that and never will. The first thing she says? Here it is: “What’s wrong with your hair? I like it better when it’s up.”
Narcissistic mother makes you feel like you are a burden and should never have been born
One of the narcissistic mother signs is her ability to make her daughter feel like a burden. Growing up, my mom often told me that I was worthless, unwanted, and a mistake. She shared with me how she went to abort me. She told me that she regretted having me and wanted me dead.
That continued for years and eventually escalated to severe abuse. She repeatedly told me: I hate you, I want you dead, you stole my youth, and gave you my life and you’re a waste.
This time, three weeks ago, she shared with me how embarrassing it is to have me in America when all normal children (the ones that aren’t abnormal like me) are married and gave her girlfriends grandchildren. Then, she said: “Someone needs to build me a monument for raising someone like you!”
Narcissistic mother controls and manipulates you and showers you with looks of disappointment and disapproval
One of the narcissistic mother traits is her disapproval of her daughter. My mother never approved of me. I wanted to pursue education but she was a janitor and wanted me to be “simple.” She hated me eagerly and vigorously. Anything I ever said, which was an opinion different from hers most of the time on any topic, resulted in looks of disappointment and disapproval (and often, it resulted in beatings).
So, now I’m 37, I’ve lived in America on my own for 12 years, I graduated from four universities, three of them with high honors, I make my own money and have my own life, I am a follower of Jesus, and a plant-based vegan.
Because I’m a disciple of Jesus and want to honor Him out of gratitude for my salvation, I live a single and celibate life. In other words, I don’t sleep with anyone, nor do I date.
Because I am plant-based, I don’t eat animal products.
Three weeks ago, over Skype video, asking me what I eat and how I live, my mom showered me with looks of dissatisfaction, she interrupted me every time I simply answered how I live, she went on and on in regards to why my lifestyle is wrong and how I need to change myself.
Eventually, I stopped talking. She asked me why I was just listening to her. I responded with an honest answer. She looked at me with her eyes completely empty, like no one was home, and went on to continue the same thing. That’s why I tell you that confronting your narcissistic mother is completely useless. No one’s home. She has no conscience.
My mom used to control me and manipulate me every day when I was little. She deployed this very tactic of the looks of disapproval and disappointment to force me to serve her and to be her mother and her husband. My mom is 65 years old, and she lives with her mother who is 92 and manipulates her this exact same way to serve her. My mother spent all her life pleasing grandma and never ever moved out for even a day to try to have her won life.
They live in the same four-bedroom condo where they always lived for nearly 70 years now. I was raised there, and my mom’s plan was to still have me there today. When I asked her why she never left, she blamed her mother for it, as well as me, of course. That’s always the case.
My mother manipulated and controlled me this time very well, so eloquently. She fished for my attention via email, and I bit the bait. She told me she needed some money. Next thing I know, we’re on Skype video for six hours for her to use me as her narcissistic supply, again. What was the question I was asked repeatedly? Here it is: “When are you coming back to Russia, your home, your native land, where you belong?”
Narcissistic mother offers no unconditional love as all her love is based on your performance
One of the narcissistic mother signs is her inability to give unconditional love. Growing up, I had to perform to attempt to win my mom’s approval. I always had to look perfect, be skinny, dress up, put makeup on every day, make good grades, keep our place clean, farm and labor everywhere else she wanted to use me, and make sure that men sent me flowers for the International Women’s Day. I was never enough. She never gave me genuine affection. My mom never blessed me with even a moment of unconditional love. If there was love, it was conditional and dependent on my performance.
In recent years, since I’ve set very clear and strict boundaries with her, blocked her everywhere on social media, and only left email available to reach out to me, my mom sent me many condemning, short-tempered emails ending with “I have to go now, I’m busy!”
That was before she asked me for money.
And by the way, those emails she sent, I was not responding to, except for one recent email sent around her Birthday. To be clear: talking about emails, I am talking about years, not days. My mom and I weren’t communicating on a regular basis, so think in years.
Once she told me recently that things were hard financially, I sent her some money. Next, I was bombarded with 70 emails a day: each was one-two sentences about all kinds of random sh..t about what she’s doing, what my aunt is doing, what my former classmates are doing, yes, those classmates whom I haven’t seen for 22 years… After I sent her money, she ended each email with “I love you, my wonderful daughter!”
Narcissistic mother is ego-driven, self-absorbed, and inconsiderate
One of the most common narcissistic mother traits is her ego and self-obsession. She has no empathy and is inconsiderate of her daughter. One time, when I was very little, my mom got upset with me, took all of my toys, and threw them out the window, into the dirt outside, during heavy rain. I wept, and she… laughed.
My mom loved seeing me hurt, and she’d mock me, bully me, laugh at me… And that’s why I had stopped crying for many years. In 2014, I was asking God to help me cry when I was going through a divorce. Not even one tear came… Since then, I spent six years learning how to cry, and I mastered it. I love crying, it’s good for the soul!
Exactly 14 months ago, I quit my job as the Director of Marketing in technology after I launched a new SaaS brand for my employer, and I went full-time into my ministry, Online Discipleship For Women. God called me to free my social calendar and be still. I obeyed, and the result was 1,000,000 words of content for my Christian blog, 102 Spiritual poems, 22 pieces of original acrylic spiritual art, and my collection of unique Bible-inspired Christian apparel for women. It’s been my own spiritual journey of healing, and I never asked or needed anyone’s approval for my decision.
During my third marriage, I experienced so much abuse… God called me to fully commit to Him and not date after my divorce. So, I haven’t been. In 2018, as I was recovering from my suicidal depression after that divorce with the narcissist, I discovered the power of plant-based eating, and I decided to mainly eat plants to be healthy, which I have been ever since. So, now you know how I came to Christ, why I don’t go out and spend every day growing this ministry, and why I eat plant-based.
Three weeks ago, on Skype video, my mom said to me: “Your lifestyle is very strange. Tell me the truth: are you a part of a dark American cult? Is the cult forcing you not to eat animal products and prevents you from dating? I already told everyone that you’ve been brainwashed by a cult.”
Narcissistic mother violates your boundaries or simply doesn’t recognize them at all
One of the narcissistic mother signs is her disregard of boundaries. During my early teen years, my mom would go through my journals and tell me what I wrote in there, all while laughing. She wanted me to tell her everything about my every thought. And she wanted me to have sex with many men so she could hear all about it. My mom was addicted to sex.
READ: Signs of Sex Addiction
She’d demand that I go sleep around, then demand that I report every detail of my sexual adventures back to her. I described these issues in great detail in my blog post about my sex addiction. It was very confusing. Being the daughter of my narcissistic mother confused the sh..t out me because I never ever knew what the heck I was supposed to be doing with my life. What she wanted me to do (f…ck around) felt like bull..it but what I wanted to do (pursue education and career in business) she hated and condemned.
I had to set very strict and strong boundaries with my mother. This time, in the Spring of 2020, she was emailing me 70 times a day demanding instant responses, asking me every day what I’m up to, why I live the way I live, what I eat and why I don’t eat what she eats, and on and on. All this cr..p pisses me off because I’d rather not hear from her 70 times a day or have a productive and meaningful conversation about some sh..t that actually matters.
I told her that I can’t respond to so many emails and that I can’t respond instantly. I explained to her that I don’t live on my phone. I live in real life and I have things to do. She responded to me: “Have you received my previous emails sent from two different email addresses? Why are you not responding? Are you upset?“
Narcissistic mother makes you feel forever indebted to her
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her desire to make you feel like you owe her forever. When I was little, my mom told me how she didn’t want me, how she went to abort me, and how she could have given me away. She told me that I owe my life to her. She regularly demanded that I serve and worship her. She painted my future to me as fully-dedicated to her, forever.I’m shaking from disgust as I’m writing this. I was so scared of her, I was ready to escape any second.
I first ran away when I was five years old. I ran away from home as a teen regularly and used to even stay with friends in their university dorms, at their jobs, or in their vacation houses, just to be away from my crazy and violent mother. She treated me as an investment in her future. Her concept was this: since she didn’t abort me, I’m here to worship her and to be her slave. She believes that I owe her huge debt that can never be repaid.
Three weeks ago, on Skype, she looked at me and said: “Someone needs to build me a monument for raising someone like you! You were always so difficult and I just wanted to hang myself every day to not have to deal with you!“
Narcissistic mother competes with you, which makes you feel confused about your identity
One of the common characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her competing with her daughter and viewing her daughter as “another woman.” It’s so f..cked up, I know. This was the biggest breakthrough of my life and unlocked my healing six years ago.
My mom loved getting compliments for my beauty when I was little. When I grew up, she became jealous every time people said I was beautiful and “looked like my father.” A word about my father: he was mostly in jail, most of his adult life, for stealing and killing, but I did see him a few times, very briefly. The first time was when I was five, and I told him to f..ck off. He tried to molest me, and I told him to f…ck off. He reached out to me when I was in America already, from jail, asking me for money. I told him to f…ck off. He was married multiple times and had many children all over Russia.
Anyway, my mom became jealous of me after the compliments on my beauty became associated with my father. Her jealousy of me always made me wonder who I was… I wasn’t treated by her as a daughter but more as another woman and often she treated me as if I were a mother or a husband to her. She sexualized and molested me, so I felt like a husband to her very often, especially since she held me completely responsible for meeting all of her emotional needs…
I didn’t know who I was.
My mom competed with me. When I would draw or knit or make a paper doll or create a collection of paper dresses for my paper dolls, she’d criticize everything I did and say: “Your hands are growing out of your ass, I can do it so much better than you!“
Three weeks ago, on Skype video call with me, she was there with grandma, in her bedroom, on a laptop. When she found out that I created a collection of Christian apparel for women, she said: “I’m even more creative and even more ambitious, I always accomplished anything I set my mind on! I even learned how to set up this laptop to talk to you! None of my friends know how to use the Internet and they all tell me how amazing I am that I can be so independent with the Internet!“
Narcissistic mother befriends your friends and even flirts with your boyfriend
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is that she wants to be friends with your friends in order to manipulate you. When I was about seven, my mom told me that my friends only liked me because they wanted to be friends with her. She said there was nothing likable about me. She persuaded me that what my friends actually liked was my mom’s cake-baking ability.
She did bake cakes often, and I did believe her, indeed. My friends loved my mom, and so did all my boyfriends. She often talked to them about me in a third person as if I weren’t even there when I was fully-present in the flesh and awake.
When I had boyfriends – and I had many boyfriends of all ages, professions, sizes, colors, and types – my mom flirted with all of them. Some of my boyfriends were my age, 16, and others were 24 and even 28. Clearly, I had daddy-issues. I got engaged with a man who was 51 when I was 23. I brought him home. He was from America. My mom was flirting with him within minutes… I ended up marrying him, and you know what happened next… Domestic violence and homelessness in a foreign country.
If a friend came over (we didn’t have phones or anything like that), she’d persuade them to wait for me and serve them alcoholic beverages. Those were 12, 13, 14, 15, 16-year-olds… My mom gave me alcohol when I was five. She often manipulated my friends to side with her. They adored her.
On our Skype video call three weeks ago, my mom was eagerly trying to tell me about people I don’t even remember, just to showcase how she’s friends with my former friends from 22 years ago: “Remember Olya who went to school with you? I saw her, she cells flowers now, and we talked. How can you not remember Olya? OMG!“
Narcissistic mother steals the ownership for your accomplishments and presents them as her own
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her skillfulness at persuading you and others that your achievements belong to her and that you accomplished things only because of her. My mom used to steal all my accomplishments but then when I was six years old, I started locking my bedroom door when doing homework, and from that point on, everyone knew that mom was not helping me with school work.
Every relative and friend knew that she wasn’t involved in my accomplishments. Well, she began minimizing them and calling me crazy for being obsessed with goals, dreams, education, career, and the idea of a better future. She’d mock and bully me daily for my accomplishments.
When I graduated with high honors from my first college, she was refusing to attend my graduation because she felt inferior and jealous. But when she was there, she was praised for my accomplishments. She said that she herself was extremely smart and ambitious. The more universities I graduated from, the more hateful she became out of jealousy since she compared herself to me all the time. The more jealous she became, the more rage I endured from her.
While on Skype video call three weeks ago, she discovered that I wrote and published two books, became an artist, wrote a collection of 103 poems called Poems From God, and have my own business. She said: “You’re exactly like me! I was always extremely ambitious, creative, and talented! Mom, tell her, isn’t it true? She’s just like me! It’s because of my genes that you can be independent! It’s all my hard work!“
Narcissistic mother makes every little inconvenience your fault and imposes guilt and shame on you
One of the narcissistic mother traits is her taking pleasure at shaming and guilt-tripping you. My mom always blamed on me her being single, being uneducated, working as a janitor, living with her parents, not dating, dating married men, being unable to experience an orgasm while having sex with those married men because I was in the next bedroom a wall away, not having enough money, having poor health, and the list goes on and on.
One time, after I had already emigrated to America, a few years into my life here, I asked my mom, who complained about me every single time she talked to me: “Mom, do you have any positive memories of your child?” She said: “No, I don’t, there’s nothing positive about you to remember!“
My mom is 65 years old. She still lives with her mom and she has for the last 65 years. When we talked on Skype three weeks ago, she said: “I wouldn’t have been in this situation if I didn’t have you!”
Narcissistic mother is jealous of you and competes with you
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is her jealousy toward her daughter. My mom was always jealous of my body. I am size zero. She used to take her clothes off, get in front of a mirror – in front of me – and start examining her naked body while telling me that her cellulite was the direct result of my birth, and soon, I would also have cellulite, so no need to be proud of not having cellulite yet. I was like ten and had exactly zero concerns about cellulite or what my body looked like, honestly.
When I started having periods and my boobs started growing, she’d make fun of me calling me “plywood” because I have almost no boobs even today. She’d look at her body in the mirror while I am in her room and tell me how her boobs were so much better than my boobs.
I remember as a little girl, I was trying hard to please her and win her acceptance and validation. While she was away, I made soup for her. Imagine! A little girl figured out how to make soup for her mom! I’m crying even thinking about that child’s heart. Anyway, when my mom got home, she was pissed that I wasted the ingredients on the soup she hated. She said: “Your hands are growing out of your ass, you shouldn’t have even tried, it’s awful, you can never make the delicious and beautiful soup as I make!“
Three weeks ago, when we were talking on Skype video, she found out that I installed curtain rods, mirrors, shelves, lights, and other things here at home all by myself. She never said anything encouraging about it. Instead, she said this: “I am very handy, too! I never sit around waiting for anyone to do anything for me! Let me tell you what I accomplished on the farm…”
Narcissistic mother tells you how to feel so that you can never be sure of the reality
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her invalidating her daughter’s feelings and telling her how to feel. My mom always gaslighted me and told everyone that none of what I say about my home life growing up is actually true.
My mom persuaded me that I was the luckiest person on earth to even have a chance at life instead of being aborted. She told me, when I was raped, that it was my competitive advantage in the marketplace of women hunting for a husband, since now I had more sexual experiences than other girls and had better chances to get laid again and maybe even get married.
Three weeks ago, while Skyping, she asked for me to share why I didn’t want to ever come back to Russia and be with “the family.” I honestly shared all the same reasons as I explain on this blog when I talk about my story. I didn’t lie about my feelings, nor did I hold anything back. She said when I finished: “Your memories are not true! I was always the best mother any child could ever wish for and you’re simply ungrateful!“
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her emotional unavailability. Feelings weren’t a part of our lives growing up. We had to work, meaning labor. There was no time to feel. I worked hard from a young age, and so did my mom. She was emotionally-unavailable. She invalidated even those very few feelings that I did try to feel. I remember coming home from school one sunny afternoon. She was in the kitchen. I told her about a conflict with a friend. I was seeking wise counsel.
My mom said: “F..ck this friend! You won’t be in school together forever. Go find a new friend! Now, change your clothes and help me finish work in the kitchen!“
When I felt hurt, I would try to talk to my mom, and she’d shut me down and make everything about herself, every time. I literally had no one to ever discuss my actual feelings with, so I called a suicide prevention hotline from a yellow public free old rotary phone dial on the corner of a grocery store outside our neighborhood. I also drank alcohol and slept around.
I had so much anger on the inside!
On our Skype video call three weeks ago, every time my mom interrupted me to put me down, I listened to her rant, then, I was quiet, then told her how she makes me feel, trying to seek empathy. She’d stare at me for a moment with her eyes completely empty, and move on to do the same thing again: interrupt me, put me down, and rant. When she asked me why I got married to my first husband and moved to America, I told her this behavior was one of the reasons. She said: “See, you’re always making things up! I was the best mom and I was always here for you. All you needed was to come to talk to me but you chose to abandon me instead and move to America!“
Narcissistic mother uses you as her narcissistic supply
One of the common characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her sucking the life out of her daughter, using the daughter as a supply of “food” for her fragile ego. My mom always needed praise, admiration, and compliments – from everyone, not just me. She wanted people to see her as a hero.
She used me as her Narcissistic Supply. As a little girl, I was very beautiful, and I knew it because every person said it out loud to my mom, everywhere we went. Then, my mom started calling me ugly, and I believed her until I turned 17, at which point beauty pageants and beauty photographers became interested in me. I competed in a few beauty pageants, and that’s how I won my first-ever fully paid, all-inclusive international trip to a fancy hotel with fancy excursions in Turkey. It was my first time ever experiencing freedom from my mom, and I loved it!
For over a decade, after she told me I was ugly, she was no longer accepting praise and admiration in regards to my beauty. She was offended if anyone said I was beautiful, and she’d instantly mock me, bully me, and put me down. She also hated my love for education, and all the letters of appreciation received for my accomplishments from school, she told me to keep to myself because they were useless. So, how did she use me as her narcissistic supply? She had me sick, all the time.
When I was sick, I was in the hospital. She’d come to visit and bring me homemade hot food. I was in a room with 17 other women. She’d talk to them about how long it took to make my food, to get to the hospital, and how she herself isn’t feeling well but sacrificing herself for me anyway… They would all adore and admire her. She loved it!
Being sick also helped me avoid abuse from her.
So, I got very skilled at being sick. Of course, all my illnesses were real, but they were caused by my protective subconscious mind. My mom loved having me sick so that she could complain about her terrible life and manipulate people into believing she was a hero.
While on our Skype video call three weeks ago, she was putting me down, condemning me, shaming me, and then she said this to invite me to be her narcissistic supply more often: “I set up my laptop and Skype so that we can talk regularly. We can talk every day now!“
Narcissistic mother treats you as her scapegoat
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her treating her daughter as a scapegoat. It was no secret to me that my cousin Vika was my mom’s golden child and that I was her scapegoat. She used me as her emotional and physical punchbag.
My mother used to beat the life out of me and then tell me it was because she loved me. She was so violent, I ran away from home many times to escape her cruelty. She was always blaming me for everything. She even brought home two strangers – girls – to live with us, to sleep with her in the same bed, and she called them her daughters. Together, all three of them treated me with the silent treatment or mocked and bullied me at my home.
My mom always enjoyed abusing me in every way.
Three weeks ago, during our video call, my mom told me how awful I am for abandoning her, how terrible her life is now that I’m not there to take care of her, that it’s too bad I don’t date or eat animal products because of the dark American cult I’m in, and how all her girlfriends have grandchildren, except her. My mom showered me with her signature looks of disappointment and rejection, she criticized me for my lifestyle, for what I do and don’t do, what I eat and don’t eat, for where I live and for not wanting to go back to Russia or take back my Russian name, and she praised herself for being better than me every chance she had. Then, she said: “Now that you came out of hiding, let’s talk often, and I will invite grandma and your aunt!”
Narcissistic mother has the golden child
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is that she has a “golden child.” My mom’s golden child was my cousin Vika who is the daughter of my mom’s youngest sister who used to date my father. Whether Identity Attacks, Body Shaming, or Ability Diminishing, my mom always let me know that she loved Vika and hated me.
Vika never graduated from anywhere, slept around, had multiple abortions, worked as a prostitute overseas, became an alcoholic, and now lives with her mom at the age of 39. I’m not judging Vika, and I myself have done many bad things with my life. Understand the nature of this chapter: you wanted to know about a narcissistic mother-daughter relationship, and I’m telling you about the 55 relationship dynamics. This is one of the, and I have to compare me, the scapegoat, to my mom’s golden child Vika, so that you can see how this behavior plays out in real life.
To demonstrate to you the scapegoat (me) vs the golden child (Vika), I have to make some comparisons. By comparing my four university graduations to the lack of even a high school diploma in Vika’s portfolio, I do not mean that I’m an arrogant b..tch who thinks only people with higher education are worthy. No. I’m only demonstrating the “scapegoat vs golden child” treatment difference. To do so, I have to give you some background details.
I built my own life, and Vika depends on her parents still. Vika stole money from everyone in the family, and I make my own money. Vika lives with her parents exactly where she grew up, and I live on my own in America. Vika never finished even the eighth grade, and I have a doctoral degree in criminal justice and an MBA from GA State University.
My mom always compared me to Vika and worshipped her.
When on our Skype call three weeks ago my mom was expressing her multi-word long-lasting disappointment in me, she only made one short comment in response to my question about Vika. She said: “Vika is doing bad, nothing good actually happened to her.“
Narcissistic mother is a boldface liar and will do anything to get what she wants
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is telling lies without even blinking. My mom always lied about everything (and so did my third husband who was the mirror of my mom). She lied about big and little things. She lied about things that didn’t even matter and those things that mattered a great deal.
My mother never knew me. She knew of me but she never knew me, my heart, my personality, my character… So, she lied about me and to me.
She admitted to me three weeks ago that from me talking about Jesus, not dating, and not eating animals, she concluded that I’m a part of a dark American cult. She told me that she told everyone about me being in a cult.
When we were on the Skype call three Saturdays ago, my mom said to me: “I was always the best mom anyone could ask for, I was always here for you, and you had a wonderful life with me! I am a hero, and someone needs to build a monument to me for raising someone like you!”
Narcissistic mother diverts conversations to herself every time
One of the narcissistic mother traits is that it’s impossible to talk to her because she makes everything about herself. When I was 11 and 12, I tried to kill myself, which my mom highly encouraged. Why I did it? I was hopeless because I could never have a productive conversation with my mom about anything – she turned everything against me, always. I later tried to take my mom to therapy on 48 Institutskaya St., Kursk, Russia. I can’t forget that address. It was my only hope. It didn’t work out.
Every time I brought up how I felt, my mom diverted the conversation to herself and how she felt. This is exactly what I experienced as an adult trying to go to marriage counseling with the narcissist. It was impossible to have a productive conversation and resolve issues because the narcissist makes all issues yours by projecting all faults on you.
Three weeks ago, on our video call via Skype, I was telling my mom about my life with God when answering her question about my “cult.” When I told her that I pray, this is literally what she interrupted me with in the middle of my response. She said: “I also pray. Let me teach you how to pray. I only know one prayer but it’s the best one because God Himself gave it to us directly. When you pray, you need to tell God what you want. Tell Him how He can serve you. He needs to know what He can do for you. But also I believe that God doesn’t want us to be religious fanatics like you.“
Narcissistic mother struggles with self-loathing and a fragile ego
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is her self-loathing. My mom was always depressed but it was never talked about. She’d give me the silent treatment for days. She was mostly bragging about herself with me but with her friends, she was different. She was always complaining about her life, her singleness, her job, her home, and me.
My mom didn’t have higher education or a good job. She had no ambition. I told you how she brought home two homeless girls. She also brought home a homeless man to live with us, and she said he was her husband. He disappeared soon.
Anyway, my mom always got offended if anyone at home brought up my educational or professional accomplishments. She would become enraged and even defensive. I didn’t know why she was defensive. She defended her fragile ego which was offended by my ambition. She self-loathed regularly, and my accomplishments made her feel bad about herself. That’s why my mom always goal-shamed me.
This is so painful to talk about, I feel like throwing up telling you about it. Just very recently, a few months ago, she sent me a message that said: “Capricorns are always goals-obsessed egotists and they are too focused on their achievements instead of actual living.” I was like WTF? This goal-shaming habit has made me feel miserable about my dreams and my accomplishments and myself for wanting a better future.
My mom always shamed me for being goals-minded, sharp, courageous, and ambitious. She hated me, and she never made a secret out of it. She considered me a competitor, which is one of the most common narcissistic mother traits. Her fragile ego was offended by anything good I ever achieved. Instead of celebrating me, she condemned me, she hated me, she shamed me, and she punished me.
Three weeks ago, on our Saturday video Skype call, as soon as grandma said: “Anechka (that’s my name), I’m so proud of you, you’re doing great!” my mom immediately said: “She’s like me, so ambitious! I am ambitious, too! She inherited this trait from me. I accomplished a lot. I can always accomplish anything I want! She wouldn’t be so accomplished without me!“
Narcissistic mother fails to protect you from harm and she’s cruel
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her failure to protect her daughter. When I was little, grandma tried to chock me. My mom said it could’ve never been true and I made it up. She always failed to protect me or to stand up for me.
One Summer afternoon, all neighborhood children were fighting outside and all parents came out from their condos to protect their kids. I ran home, into the kitchen where mom was peeling potatoes. I said: “Mom, all parents came out, I need you to protect me!” She said: “Go protect yourself!”
When I was raped, my mother said I needed to forget it and never tell anyone about it and actually think of it as my sexual competitive advantage. She herself harmed me and she loved seeing me harmed by others.
When three weeks ago I mentioned to her that her putting me down hurts and that I actually don’t have to be on call with her or even talk to her but I’m choosing to, when I asked her to consider how she talks to me, she said: “You need to be simpler, you’re too complicated!“
Narcissistic mother puts up a facade of a good mother but behind closed doors she abuses you
One of the common characteristics of a narcissistic mother is wearing a mask, putting up a facade in public to win admiration, but being different in private. My mom went to school for parents’ meetings, and every time, after the meeting, she publicly humiliated me telling me how bad I was. She was trying to portray herself as a very good mother with strong discipline.
At home, she’d beat the crap out of me sometimes. Other times, she’d pretend to care about me to make a good impression on a teacher or a neighbor or a dude she was wooing. Yet, one-on-one with me she always cruelly abused me. Today, I can’t stand double-faced people. Still, I had married one in 2016.
Three weeks ago, on our Skype call, for the first three hours, my mom and I were alone, before grandma came to see me. When we were talking alone, my mom interrupted me regularly to put me down. Once grandma showed up, my mom even tried to listen. Wow! She asked grandma: “Mom, tell her that I was always a great mom!“
Narcissistic mother guilts and shames you in a dramatic and condemning way
One of the most common narcissistic mother traits is her obsession with shaming her daughter. My mom always told me: “If you don’t learn how to be beautiful by the age of 35, you’re stupid!” I wrote a detailed article called “Things Narcissistic Mothers Say.” She also told me that I was fat, my ass was too flat, I had no boobs, no eyebrows, and I was ugly but at least I had my health. She also told me to eat healthily to maintain my health.
I always tried to eat healthily, and in 2018, I discovered plant-based eating, which helped me get rid of any illnesses I did have. You’d think my mom would appreciate how seriously I took her advice. Right? Well… actually, nothing can ever please the narcissist.
Three weeks, on our six-hour-long Skype call, my mom was criticizing in a dramatic way my lifestyle and eating habits and said this: “I know I told you to eat vegetables and stay healthy but I eat whatever I want, that’s what God wants us to do, I never wanted you to be a health fanatic!“
Narcissistic mother emotionally untrustworthy so you can’t trust her
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her untrustworthiness. Sharing anything with my mom was always the key to unlocking massive gossip. One of the most dangerous narcissistic mother signs is their ability to and the habit of making sh..t up to harm their daughters. She always twisted whatever I told her in private and then spread rumors about me. By the time those rumors would come back to me, the picture of me, portrayed by my mom, had absolutely nothing to do with the actual reality. In 2022, she found out that I follow Jesus, don’t date, and don’t eat animal products.
When we talked on Skype three weeks ago, she told me: “I told everyone that you’ve been recruited by a dark American cult which prohibits you from dating and from eating well.“
Narcissistic mother is confident that nothing is wrong with her
One of the most common characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her belief that she’s a saint. I tried to bring things up to my mom and talk and work on our relationship. The only thing is that narcissists always believe that they are perfect. In the article called Living In Multiple Realities with The Narcissist, I described what it’s like to be gaslighted by the cruel narcissist and being pulled into multiple realities. That was my life with my third husband and with my mother, as well.
I’d wake up to an evil witch screaming and refusing to give me food, go to school, and come back to the most loving and caring mom who waited for me with a hot homemade dinner, especially if there was a man in the house.
I tried therapy with her, I tried to talk to her, and she always gave me the same response as she did three weeks ago on our Skype video call: “I’ve always been the best mom to you! I’m great and I deserve a monument to be built in my name for raising someone like you!”
Narcissistic mother genuinely wants you to sacrifice your life to worship her
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her demand that her daughter would sacrifice everything for her. I already shared with you how my mom forced me to fall on my knees and worship her. She gave me regular silent treatments so that I would write worship-filled admiration letters to her, and she keeps them still even today.
She recently emailed me one – just out of the blue, to show me how I used to worship her. I ignored it. But in my heart, I felt pain for the little girl who was forced to do these kinds of cruel things to feed her mother’s ego.
Three weeks ago, at 37, living in America and having my own independent life, I was asked to worship my mom and build a monument for her… Some people never change. Most of the time, narcissistic mothers and their daughters have the same dynamics decades later as when the daughter was a little girl.
On our Skype video call three weeks ago, for about two hours my mother demanded that I take my Russian name back, accept back Russian citizenship, renew my Russian passport, and come back to Russia. She said (and I’m sure she believes this sh..t wholeheartedly): “Let me tell you, you should have never left, and we all would have still lived here together as happily as we did.”
Narcissistic mother imposes on you the scars that are massive but invisible to others so no one can believe you
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is that she gaslights you to believe that all her abuse is normal and that you are crazy and making up stories about you being abused. I’ve shared a lot of stuff here with you, and I’m just getting started. Yet, none of this was in my actual awareness until 2014.
I was blissfully ignorant, addicted to alcohol and sex, partying three nights a week at clubs, sleeping around, and believing that I was totally fine. I was trapped in the happiness illusion, performing for approval and validation, and none of my wounds and scars were ever dealt with.
No one ever believed me among my friends or mom’s friends about the abuse I’ve experienced. My relatives were mostly adulterous alcoholics disconnected from reality and abusing their own kids, so this was completely normal.
At school, yes, everyone knew but they couldn’t do anything, except building me up, which they did very well, thank God. In college, the same thing, I was built up and challenged to grow by my mentors who knew all this sh…t. Then, universities… There, I had mentors, and they knew as well, and they built me up and helped me soar.
But my actual pain, scars, my wounds – no one saw those. I was fine. I was a high achiever. I was handling it all… Until I came to the end of myself in 2014, and I broke. That was when I met Jesus face-to-face.
READ: Who Is Jesus?
That’s when I started going to therapy, reading books, and figuring out my “stuff.” It’s been exactly six years. This article is a celebration of my addiction sobriety of six years. I’m celebrating today my awareness of my pain, trauma, wounds, scars, and still, my desire to make the world a better place by sharing hope in Christ.
That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.
I want you to read this and decide to face your “stuff.” I want you to read this and know: you are not crazy, you are not making sh..t up as your mom persuades everyone, you are being abused, and you need to recognize it, stop it, and start healing. You need to establish boundaries with your mom and heal from all the wounds from her cruel abuse.
I’m 37 and I’ve been working on this for six years.
Three weeks ago, when my mom asked me to tell her why I left Russia and what I think about everything, I gave her my honest answer. Still, in 2020, when I’m 37, she said: “You are making this up, none of this is true, I was a great mom and you were a nightmare! I need someone to build a monument to me for raising someone like you!“
Narcissistic mother is committed to torturing you forever
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is that she is fully-committed to harassing and torturing you forever or until you’re dead. My mother told me many times, looking me straight in the eye: “I curse the day you were born, I want you to suffer forever. I will always torture you, I will never ever leave you alone, and even after I die, I will come back and harass you so that you die in pain and have no peace ever. I hate you and I just want you dead!”
I wrote a lot about my suffering. Here are some articles.
- My Suicide Story
- My Depression Story
- My Narcissist Mother Story
- My Sex Addiction Story
- My Story of Coming to Christ
- My Domestic Violence Story
- My Narcissist Marriage Abuse Story
- My Identity Transformation Story
- My Spiritual Warfare Story
- My Story of Becoming a TEDx Speaker
- My Story of Faith and Fortitude
My mom stayed true to her promises. Even after I moved to America, she’s been harassing me and torturing me. Initially, I believe that ending a narcissistic mother-daughter relationship was possible. It’s not. Even ceasing contact doesn’t end this kind of a relationship. I’ve been healing and learning to accept my story, to forgive my mother, to understand myself, and to lean on God for peace and joy.
Three weeks ago on our Skype video call, after putting me down and interrupting me every minute to tell me how wrong I am and how I am a failure, my mother said to me enthusiastically: “Let’s talk every day!“
Narcissistic mother is mean and cruel so she tortures you intentionally
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her intentionality. All her deceptions are premeditated and her abuse is well thought through. I told my mom how she makes me feel and I attempted to establish boundaries with her many times. Yet, she does what she does intentionally because she’s cruel.
She is not innocent. Her abuse is not accidental. My mom told me she had financial issues only to lure me back into talking, and then, the same thing happened. I sent her some money.
When we were on video via Skype, she showed me her two brand-new cell phones, a new laptop, and she got some pretty fancy kitchen gadgets out of her closet to show me what she bought: it was all freshly-packaged and new. Do people with financial struggles live like that? She said: “Actually, my pension used to cover all my expenses until I increased my expenses!”
Narcissistic mother wants you to live with her and depend on her so she can exercise control over you
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is that she wants to fully consume you, own you, and basically sees you as a physical extension of her. I was born in a four-bedroom condo, where my grandma, grandpa, their three daughters, and their four grandchildren lived.
In that condo, the same condo from almost seventy years ago, my grandma, my mom, and her alcoholic sister still live… I lived there in my early years, and it’s pretty much what I think about when someone says the word “dungeon.”
I was abused, molested, harassed, mocked, bullied, beaten, chased, chocked, punched, screamed at, tortured, threatened with suicide, encouraged to commit suicide, put on my knees for hours at a time in a corner on wooden floors topped with dry triangular buckwheat… My childhood home was a f…cking dungeon! But my mom wanted me to always live there.
She never had any plans for herself to move out and live independently. She shared her big dreams for my future: I work as a janitor and live with her and grandma forever. No, thank you. It’s not my cup of tea.
I have my own dreams for my own future!
For the last 12 years, I’ve lived in America. Every time we talk, my mom and grandma ask (and my response is always “never”): “When are you moving back to Russia?“
Narcissistic mother judges others and believes that she’s better than all humans on earth
One of the narcissistic mother traits is that she judges everyone to make herself feel better about her own life. My mom was always busy judging people. She’d tell me how her friend Tanya was dating a married man from another city who had anal sex with her in the kitchen, but my mom was surely better than having anal sex with married men in the kitchen.
She’d go on and on about her friend Masha who never had sex with her husband, but my mom was surely better than that because, if she had a husband, she’d have sex with him all the time.
I used to listen to all this sex-obsessed bull…it every day while we were working together: on the farm, in the kitchen, and anywhere we had to labor to make a living. I listened to all this sh…t from my mom who slept with married men, homeless men, and all kinds of men, even her sister’s boyfriend who is my father.
Three weeks ago, on our Skype call, she told me: “I’m seeing such and such man, people judge me but what do they have to judge? This is my own life, I live however I want!”
Narcissistic mother makes you feel exhausted and hurt so you’re overwhelmed constantly
"Narcissistic Mother Hates Her Daughter" #PoemsFromGod
Narcissistic mother inherently hates her daughter’s guts.
She sees her as another woman, of whom she’s envious and jealous.
She might be nice to people, even kissing others’ butts,
But to her daughter she is never good or kind or simply zealous.
Her only goal is to destroy her daughter permanently.
She’s filled with hatred, animosity, and ill will.
She says “I want you dead!” to her descendant personally.
She tries tenaciously her child to harm or kill.
7/17/19 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Narcissistic mother is incapable of nurturing you or being an actual mother
"Narcissistic Mother" #PoemsFromGod
A Narcissistic Mother is egotistical and incapable of love or compassion.
She is self-centered and only for herself does she experience any genuine passion.
She is a caregiver who treats her daughter as if the child’s aim were to be of service.
She deliberately persuades her daughter that she’s unloved, undeserving, unwanted, and worthless.
A Narcissistic Mother is one moment raging and next moment she is smiling.
She behaves unpredictably; her goal is to win people’s compliments and admiring.
She has an enmeshed relationship with her daughter where her child’s needs don’t even exist.
If she decides to appear nice, she is pleasant, but in a split of a second, she’s violent and pissed.
She uses her daughter to fuel her ego or get some money; that’s pretty much it.
And of course, her true motives she would never openly to anyone admit.
A Narcissistic Mother sucks the life out her daughter and says straightforwardly: “I just want you dead!”
Her daughter ends up with a long-lasting emotional trauma and a life of deep healing ahead.
10/6/18 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Narcissistic mother derives her sense of self from you
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is that she sees her daughter as an extension of herself instead of an individual who is an independent being with her own purpose and preferences.
I got pregnant at 17 from a much older man, and my mom was so happy. She told me her vision for how we all will live together in grandma’s condo, and my mom would raise my daughter. I had a miscarriage from thinking about such a future. I miscarried on March 8th, International Women’s Day.
I haven’t been pregnant ever again. Mom is disappointed.
The fact that I am independent, self-reliant, healthy, educated, have my own home, car, hobbies, and career, I’m productive and functional, I’m an award-winning author of a popular goals-setting book, I created a collection of awesome Christian apparel, I’m doing good work to make the world a better place – none of it is of any value to my mom.
She wants me to sleep around and be pregnant. But I don’t even date or spend any time with men. I’m not pregnant and I never will be.
When I was five years old, my mama told me
That I was born to be a mother and a wife.
I was taught how to make men want me
And that sex was the best key to my best life.
When at six years old I strived to study,
Mama told me that instead I needed men,
That their focus of attention was my body
And I’d better master sex to live in zen.
When at 15, graduating with high honors,
I left school to go to college and to work,
Mama told me that my wasteful life her bothers,
That my oddity and fancy were a quirk.
When at 19, graduating with high honors,
After college, I went on to Busines School,
Mama told me I was crazy and went bonkers,
She was hateful, she was violent, she was cruel.
At 24 I graduated with high honors
From two good schools with two degrees in law and business.
I mastered also sex and men to meet my mothers
Expectations and demands for my life’s richness.
I got married to Prince Charming and left Russia.
And I strived to be a mother and a wife.
Domestic Violence was my marriage daily crushing.
I had to run away to save my life.
When police took me away to homeless shelter,
I was crushed, I was confused, I was in pain.
In a foreign country I life entered.
To survive, I had to daily use my brain.
Within 18 months, I learned the language
And I passed the Academic English Test.
As an immigrant, I had a disadvantage,
So I went to school to prove my best.
MBA from GSU was good decision,
Only mama was still living in my head.
She continued my identity collision:
To be mother, to be wife, or stay unwed?
Mama’s voice remained the strongest, so I married.
He was doctor. I was student. We had kids.
Her ideas of myself I always carried:
I’m for men and I’m for sex. Mom’s voice mine beats.
When I got my MBA and started working,
That second marriage quickly also got dissolved.
As I was hustling a lot and money earning,
My identity and purpose both evolved.
But Mama’s voice was surely ever-lasting:
You’re for men, you are for sex, you must be wife.
In confusion and in pain my purpose wasting,
I went on to live a very furtive life.
Slept around, drank like crazy, I was sinking.
My identity collision was a burden.
To avoid my pain and life, I was just drinking,
Who I was and whose I was, I was uncertain.
It was April, it was dark, and I was crying.
There was carpet, there were stars, and I was kneeling.
I was praying - to surrender I was trying.
And that night I did experience deep healing.
I asked Jesus: change my mind and my head’s voices.
I asked Him to lead my life, to guide my journey.
Ever since my soul is healed and it rejoices.
Mom’s and mine beliefs on life no longer tourney.
Jesus taught me that I am, in fact, a royal.
Child of God, I am, in fact, King’s Princess.
Ever since, to Him I’m being loyal.
Trusting Him, I am becoming fearless.
Mom’s beliefs and my beliefs no longer matter.
Jesus tells me my life’s purpose and desire.
Single life for me, He says, is better.
His commands today my life inspire.
4/27/19 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
My mom told me three weeks ago on Saturday during our Skype call (to which I dropped my jaw because she contradicted everything she ever told me about how she feels about me and she showed me that I am like a thing to make her look a certain way): “All my friends are asking about you and I want grandchildren. How did you even make the decision to be single and celibate? You will change your mind! I had you and I’m very glad I did!“
Narcissistic mother created the illusion of a loving and sacrificial mother to win admiration and compliments from people
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is that she wants people to view her as a hero. She pretends to be very sacrificial and loving when she is in public. It’s an illusion. She manipulatively portrays a picture of her suffering for the sake of her daughter. Even talking about this makes me wanna vomit.
My mom used to bake cakes for my neighborhood friends, call them to the window and feed them so they’d worship her, then, she’d tell everyone how she sacrificed herself to make the cake for my friends because she’d a wonderful mother. She’d want me to always be sick so I’d be in a hospital often. She’d come to visit me, bring food, and tell the 17 women, who stayed in the same hospital room where I stayed, how she sacrificed to make the food and to bring it and how expensive it was to buy the groceries and to take the bus to the hospital.
Three weeks ago on our Skype call, my mom in front of grandma there said to me: “I sacrificed everything so that you could have a better life. You need to come back to Russia because people are asking me about you!“
Narcissistic mother envies you and hates you with passion
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her envy. My mom envied and hated me, and she didn’t leave me doubting about her feelings. She told me: “The world will be a better place when you’re dead. You’re dead to me, you died a long time ago. I hate you and I just want you dead!”
When I published my award-winning SMART goals book, I told her about it with excitement, and her response was this: “So, are you seeing anyone? Tell me about your dating life!” She hated my accomplishments and condemned me for my ambition. She always envied me. She did everything she could to discourage me from having a vision for my future. My mom is satanic. She does want me dead, and killing my vision and dreams is the first step in robbing me of my future. She has not succeeded so far.
Three weeks ago, on our Skype video call, my mom said with condemnation and disapproval: “Don’t be a fanatic, life is not just about goals!“
Narcissistic mother is severely deficient in empathy and compassion
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is her lack of empathy and compassion. I’ve tried hard many times over the years to entice some compassion and empathy in my mom but she has literally no conscience. And I married the narcissist with the same issue. It was 2016. Imagine my shock when I realized how much he deceived me, yet, I found myself married to my mother in America.
I wrote extensively about this on my blog.
Three weeks ago, on our Skype call, I told my mom how interrupting me every moment was not ok. Then, grandma and I started talking, she interrupted us dozens of times. My feedback went into her one ear and out the other. She said sarcastically every time she interrupted: “Let me say a word! Your thinking is wrong. Here’s how you need to think…”
Narcissistic mother causes conflict, chaos, and confusion within you
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is that she wants her daughter to be in turmoil all the time, she wants to see her daughter suffer. I was very little when I started experiencing my mom’s hatred and rejection. She told me that I was ugly, worthless, and a mistake. She told me stories of how my father didn’t love or want me. She told me how grandma was ashamed of me and prohibited me from calling her grandma. She loved seeing my reaction to these damaging messages. She enjoyed my suffering.
My mom caused chaos and confusion in me.
I was always searching to belong, yet, I never belonged with her or her family. She told me: “I wish I got rid of you when I went to abort you! I wish you were never born! You’re worthless and a waste of my life! You are not a part of our family, you are not like us, you must have been switched!“
My identity was always a confusing topic.
I didn’t know who I was.
READ: My Identity In Christ
Three weeks ago on the Skype call, my mom told me that she loves me and can finally see that I’m “normal” – all in the same conversation, in which she told me I’m a disappointment, a crazy cult-obsessed religious fanatic, and a liar. I shared many things she said during our six-hour-long dialogue. She also said (which was so confusing because I just never can ever predict what’s coming when dealing with my mom): “I finally see that you’re a normal woman, all grown up and independent, good job, daughter! I’m proud of you!”
Narcissistic mother is incapable of affection
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her inability to give her daughter an appropriate motherly affection. My love language is affection. My mom wanted to either give me and get from me sexual affection or none at all. I was very young when she molested me. I felt awkward and angry about the things she was doing to me and demanding from me.
I wanted my mom to be a mom to me.
But she wanted something else from me, which I didn’t like. To manipulate and tease me, she’d bring in cats and pet them, hold them, snuggle with them in my bedroom, in front of me, all while rejecting me and withholding her affection from me. And I married the same kind of as..ole in 2016. We’re drawn toward what’s familiar, subconsciously.
Affection for my mom included sticking her fingers in my vagina when I was a little girl, playing with a showerhead and my body “down there,” and I think I’ll stop right here, that’s enough for you to recognize some of the things you’ve gone through in your own narcissistic mother-daughter relationship. This sh…t is one of the very common narcissistic mother signs.
Three weeks ago, during our call on Skype via video, looking at me, in front of grandma, my mom declared with the strongest conviction imaginable: “I was always there for you, loved you, protected you, gave you affection, but you were very strange and I just wanted to hang myself!“
Narcissistic mother defends her delusional persona at all costs
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her defensiveness when it comes to her ego and her outer persona. My mother is aggressive and defensive. She never let me talk to her about her issues because she portrayed herself as perfect.
My mother attacked me if I asked for therapy or reached out for any help with her abuse at school. She persuaded everyone that I was crazy and making sh..t up. Most teachers believed me but in my immediate world (relatives, neighbors, my friends, and mom’s friends), most people held my mom on a pedestal and were pissed that I didn’t worship her as they did.
As a teen I was partly disillusioned.
My mom continued to defend her outer persona. On our Saturday video call three weeks ago, she said: “I’m the best mother any child could wish for and I deserve a monument in my name for raising someone like you!”
Narcissistic mother accuses you of being inconsiderate and selfish if you don’t meet her every need
One of the narcissistic mother signs is selfishness. Everything in my life had to be about my mother and her needs. She attacked me if I took a nap when I was little. If I made any plans with friends, she told me my plans were bulls..t and I needed to work, not make plans with friends.
I obeyed. I labored.
I worked my a..s off on the farm growing potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, onions, garlic, and other produce for us to eat, I worked like a horse around the house doing chores for all the drunks living there, I worked peeling 10-liters buckets of potatoes regularly to sell homemade meals to make money, and the list goes on.
Still, my mom was never satisfied and accused me of never helping, being lazy, being selfish, and being inconsiderate of her needs and sacrifices. Nothing I ever did was good enough for my mom, and she let me know.
On the video call via Skype three weeks ago, my mom said (after twelve years ago and repeatedly for the past twelve years I told her that I will never ever come back to Russia): “I was always expecting you to come back to Russia, I built a house on the farm for you, I worked so hard to give you a great farmhouse, and now what am I going to do?“
Narcissistic mother brags about herself all the time
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her self-bragging. She boasts about herself all the time. My mom always talked to me like this: “You’re so ugly, look at me, I’m beautiful! Your hands are growing out of your ass, you can’t do anything right, look how much better I can do this!“
Not much has changed in the last three decades.
Three weeks ago, my mom was bragging about herself when it came to food, lifestyle, having kitchen gadgets, how to cook buckwheat, how to pray to God (she never goes to church or reads the Bible but she’s an expert on God), and what to eat to be healthy (I had never heard my mom say “I feel good!” no, every time we talk, she says “I’m so sick, I’m in bed!”), etc.
On our Skype video three weeks ago, my mom said: “Look at me, I always said and will say: I am a beautiful woman. I am amazing! I can figure out how to use social media! I am the smartest among my friends! I am the best mother and I deserve a monument!“
Narcissistic mother persuades you that you’re a failure
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her desire to make her daughter believe that she’d a failure. My mom told me that I would never amount to anything. I was always striving to have a better future than the one she portrayed for me – living in the same old condo with grandma and her and being a janitor.
I dreamed big, I journaled, I read, I spoke at conferences, I worked out, I developed my brain, memory, speaking abilities, and my endurance in adversity. I had plans to pursue higher education and build a career.
Here’s my award-winning book about SMART goals.
But my mom wanted me to have sex and children. I don’t have children and I don’t have sex either. So, with her disapproving looks of deep disappointment, my mom let me know that I didn’t meet her expectations for my life.
Three weeks ago on our six-hour-long video call via Skype, she gave me such disappointed faces and said: “Well, of course, I want grandchildren and I want you to come back to Russia but, of course, you never asked for my advice…”
Narcissistic mother seeks pity from people to get attention by exaggerating everything
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is her ability to exaggerate to provoke people’s attention and admiration. My mom would often tell me how sick grandma was and how we needed to take care of her (that was decades ago when my grandma worked three janitor jobs and had multiple farms).
My mom would go on and on speaking with someone about grandma’s health and how the burden of care is on my mom’s shoulders… Then, I’d come home and see the “near-death” grandma described as “deadly-ill” being out and about doing stuff, energetic and completely able to care for herself.
In the Spring of 2016, I was at Piedmont Park in Atlanta taking engagement pictures and getting ready for my wedding when I received multiple messages from a person here in Georgia telling me that my mom reached out and needs me immediately in Russia, that she fell off a building and is severely injured, etc., demanding that I cancel my wedding and fly to Russia to be with my mom.
Three weeks ago during our call, my mom was repeatedly saying something I heard for the last 37 years: “Grandma is very sick, she’s hardly surviving, and I am not doing well myself, I am all hurting and aching, I’m very sick!“
Narcissistic mother portrays herself as persevering despite her victimhood
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her victimhood. My mom loved being a victim and getting attention for her imaginary sufferings. She worked hard. She labored. She had a job. She had a farm. She was a single mom living with a bunch of insane drunks raising a child who had a strong mind of her own, and she herself struggled with mental health issues.
My mom fed me, provided shelter for me, and she did raise me instead of giving me away. I’m grateful. That being said, my mom didn’t have to live with a bunch of crazy drunks and subject herself and her daughter to daily abuse. She had options. My mom chose her kind of life, and then she went on to complain about it pretending a victim.
My mom is one of three daughters, each of whom is able, both physically and mentally. Each of the daughters has a daughter, of which one moved away to America: me. Others are still there, in Kursk, and any of them could take care of grandma, who, by the way, worked three jobs and had multiple farms until a few years ago.
Yet, my mom always portrayed herself as a hero rescuer of grandma who actually never ever really needed my mom and demonstrated her complete independence every day while I lived there for 25 years.
My mom chose grandma over me many times. I begged my mom to move somewhere away from the drunken violence of our home environment. But she would say: “Where else would I have a garage right outside my door to store all of the pickled produce?” Answers like this, pickles over my safety and sanity, always made me feel confused about my identity. I felt worthless in comparison to pickles.
Three weeks ago, when I asked my mom why she never left grandma who had three able daughters, my mom said: “I always wanted to leave but there was no one to take care of my parents, I had to take care of them, no matter the abuse I endured, it was my duty!“
Narcissistic mother treats you with neglect because she doesn’t care about you
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is neglect. My many memories include late, dark nights, my drunk mom and me walking to a bus stop to go home from her friends’ place, she’s unable to walk straight, she leans on the little me expecting me to carry her, and I feel embarrassed, abandoned, and neglected.
Many times, I had to go pick up my drunk mom from her friends’ homes as she’d argue and rage at me for suffocating her freedom. Her middle sister, my aunt, was raped and beaten, which I was taken to the hospital to witness at a young age, so I always feared that the same thing would happen to my mom.
Three weeks ago on our Skype video call, my mom looked at me and said: “I always made you my priority, I never got drunk, I was always home to care for you, and you had the best mother ever! You were lucky!“
Narcissistic mother makes you feel guilty for wanting to build your own life
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her mastery of guilt-tripping her daughter. I always wanted to be independent and have my own life. My family was working-class people, mostly janitors, no education, all alcoholics and adulterers, and they all openly slept with other people’s spouses. They made and sold their own moonshine. Physical fights were a regular occurrence at home. We had the police over often.
I wanted a different life. I wanted to be educated, travel, read books, attend art galleries, go to conferences, learn who I am, develop new skills, explore the global world, and build a real career in business.
At six, I started locking my bedroom door to be able to focus on my studies all by myself. My mom was never of any help. She was a distraction. She hated my independence. She rejected me for having big dreams. She goal-shamed me and called me crazy. She’d say: “You’re too deep and too intellectual, it’s annoying, be simpler! Don’t think too much of yourself, you’re not going to go far!”
I explained how her words and her habit of putting me down impacted me. I provided real-life examples when I shared about my journey of becoming a TEDx speaker in 2020.
I left my mom in 2008, emigrated to America, built my own life, career, graduated with an MBA from GA State University, published an award-winning goal-setting book, became a paid speaker, have my own home, car, and savings account.
I have faith in God, I’m not on drugs, not sleeping around, not drinking. I created a collection of Christian apparel for women, Christian poetry, Christian books, Christian podcast, which help women all over the world. I’m an American citizen. America is my home.
I’m not boasting. This is a story of God’s glory, not mine.
On our Skype video call three weeks ago on Saturday, my mom said: “I raised you, and you left me. We all could have been better off if you stayed. Everything could have been different if you were here. You need to take your Russian name back, update your Russian passport, and come back here to be with me. America is not your home!”
Narcissistic mother considers any difference in opinions as disrespect
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is her inability to tolerate any differences in opinions. When I was little and learn something at school, I’d remember it and apply it while doing homework. My mom would interfere and demand that her opinions were more superior than what the teacher had taught me. I’d try to explain what the teacher shared but my mom would take that as disrespect and a personal attack. She’d start attacking my character and blaming me for being difficult, worthless, and abnormal.
That was when and why I started locking my bedroom door to be alone and study. I’d plug my ears and focus on my school homework. I graduated from four universities and I believe that education saved me from the misery of that family. Education, studying, learning, school, and libraries were my safe haven, an escape. The school was the only place where I was a somebody because I was a nobody at home.
On our Saturday Skype call three weeks ago, my mom heard me say that I live for God and I have the joy of the Lord so I do not live for pleasure. She interrupted me with a look of disapproval on her face and said (I’m only giving you an excerpt of a 10-min long lecture on the need for pleasure in my life): “Why are you saying that you live for joy and not for pleasure? It’s wrong. You must live for pleasure! Let me explain to you how pleasure works and why it’s so essential in your life…”
Narcissistic mother shames you for wanting to live life on your own terms and pursue greatness
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her harassment of her daughter due to the daughter’s desire for greatness. My mom always demanded that I have sex with many men and forget about education. She was obsessed with sex and men. When I became completely celibate and she was sending me naked pictures, seduction illustrations, and other inappropriate media, I’d express my boundaries but to no avail.
My mom could never understand how I wanted something more than a f…ck with a random dude, some alcohol, and gossip. My mom hated my desire for education and independence. She hated my dreams of a better future.
I live a single and celibate life dedicated to serving God. My mom told everyone that I’ve been brainwashed by a dark American cult. She shames me for not dating, not having children, not living in Russia, and not being with her “like all normal children.”
It took years to figure out my life, but all things are possible with Christ. Here’s my journey to Jesus away from my mom, straight through sex and confusion. This poem was written by me in 2019.
Three weeks ago on Saturday, my mom said during our Skype video call, with a very disapproving face: “Well… I know you made your decisions about life and America all by yourself and you wanted to explore, though normal children typically consult their parents…“
Narcissistic mother is violent and aggressive toward you
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is her violence and aggression towards her daughter. My mom used to beat the life out of me with a thin black leather belt that had a metal buckle.
She spilled hot-boiled cooking oil on my legs. She chased me with an ax threatening to chop me into pieces. She pushed, punched, pinched, and punished me aggressively on a regular basis.
I wrote an autobiographical fairytale to demonstrate the aggression and the violence of my mother toward me, which forced me to attempt suicide twice. You can download all three Princess Lana Fairytales here.
The Miraculous Escape from The Wicked Witch. Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful and capable Princess in a faraway kingdom called Russnia. The Princess’ name was Lana. When she was in her mother’s womb, God made her perfect in His image. He created Princess Lana for a very special purpose - to glorify Him. To fulfill God’s purpose, The Princess first had to overcome many great obstacles. She also needed to develop faith and fortitude. When Princess Lana was born, her loving Mother Queen protected her, held her close, and sang soothing songs to her. Life was wonderful. The kingdom was safe. And Princess Lana felt loved. Shortly after her birth though, a terrible misfortune came upon the kingdom. The kind and affectionate Queen became possessed by the spirit of The Wicked Witch. The Wicked Witch took over, and the Queen was never ever seen again. From that mysterious and unfortunate day on, Princess Lana suffered much adversity and heartache The Wicked Witch hated and mistreated The Princess. The Witch was violent, rude, angry, resentful, and bitter most of the time. Though sometimes, to manipulate Princess Lana to do as she wished, The Witch pretended to be nice. Princess Lana felt sad, lonely, and discouraged. She missed her Mother Queen. She was confused as to what happened to her beloved Mother. She had many unanswered questions. Especially, Princess Lana wanted to know what was the purpose of her life. As The Princess was growing up, The Wicked Witch was becoming more evil and violent toward her. Soon, the pain was just too much to handle for the lonely Princess. One day, overcome by deep sorrow and despair, Princess Lana jumped off the cliff to end her life of suffering. God saw this and rescued The Princess. Safe, she was delivered back to the kingdom of Russnia and continued her life with The Wicked Witch. God knew His great and beautiful plan for the long and fulfilling life of Princess Lana. But she didn’t know God’s plan. As her journey of rejection and hostility continued in the kingdom of Russnia, Princess Lana developed faith and fortitude by overcoming adversity. She also learned to love books, which served her as an escape from the painful reality where The Wicked Witch reigned. Princess Lana discovered that she was a great learner. She enjoyed studying math, literature, physics, and geometry. She memorized and recited poetry often. And she dreamed a lot. She wanted to be creative. She wanted to express her heart. One day, she practiced drawing and created art which illustrated a gymnast performing gymnastics. The art was beautiful! When The Wicked Witch saw it, she cast a magic spell on The Princess. So, Princess Lana was never able to draw again. But God gave her a passion for dancing. She practiced ballet, and you could see all the pain and suffering disappear when Princess Lana was dancing. As soon as The Wicked Witch found out that The Princess enjoyed dancing, she cast a spell on her, and Princess Lana was never able to dance again. But God gave her a passion for sawing. The Princess designed and created a beautiful green dress. Everyone complimented her marvelous work. However, when The Wicked Witch discovered the new passion of The Princess, she cast a spell on her. Princess Lana was never able to saw anything ever again. Her new passion was for knitting. The Princess created a very unique black dress with gorgeous glitter-fillet buttons. Princess Lana was proud of her work. But as soon as The Wicked Witch heard about this, she cast a spell on The Princess. Her passion died, like many times before. Princess Lana had still so many gifts left in her. She wanted to pursue a new hobby, but this time, she knew that it had to be a secret from The Wicked Witch. Princess Lana began writing stories about an imaginary forest right outside her bedroom wall. The forest was beautiful and safe. Green trees where everywhere. The birds sang from the bottom of their hearts. It was a place of peace and joy. The Princess wrote about faith and fortitude. One day, The Wicked Witch heard about Lana’s stories of empowerment and encouragement. The Witch cast a spell on The Princess again and forced her to forget all about writing. During the reign on The Wicked Witch, the kingdom where Princess Lana lived turned into a dark place. People hated each other. There was sorrow and despair everywhere. The Princess was so discouraged and hopeless, that one day, she went to the cliff and jumped off again. God watched over The Princess all the time. He saw what she did and He saved her again. This time, God touched the heart of The Princess. He revealed just a glimpse of Himself to her, which gave her a new hope. After that, the young Princess knew that there was God who had a plan for her and was guiding her toward a beautiful future. As her life with The Wicked Witch continued, The Princess learned a few valuable lessons. The Lessons Princess Lana learned were these: In life, you must have faith and hope. In adversity, you must develop fortitude and persevere. In moments of sorrow and despair, you must remember that God’s plan is good. In times of loneliness, you must remember that God is with you. One day, Princess Lana met Prince Charming. He lived in a far far away kingdom called Amerun. The Prince was handsome, kind, loving, and wise. He wanted to marry Princess Lana, but The Wicked Witch didn’t want The Princess to be happy. She tried to beat and burn Princess Lana. She yelled and screamed spells at her every day. She told her consistently: “I just hate you and I want you dead!” The Princess knew that it was true. She felt scared and sad. And she got very sick. One day, Prince Charming came to her rescue. On a white horse, armed with his powerful armor, fearless, The Prince appeared in the kingdom of Russnia. He freed Princess Lana from The Wicked Witch. As he was taking her far far away to the kingdom of Amerun, The Witch used her dark powers to chase The Princess. She wanted to bring her back into captivity. She kept casting spells on The Princess, and that’s when God stepped in and helped propel Princess Lana into her destiny. God separated The Princess from The Wicked Witch by 8,646 magic measures and delivered Princess Lana and Prince Charming to the kingdom of Amerun safely. The Princess never saw The Wicked Witch again. She was hopeful and excited about her happily-ever-after with Prince Charming. And she went on to share her miraculous life story to give God all the glory.
Narcissistic mother intentionally hinders the process of your maturing because she needs you to remain under her influence and control
One of the common narcissistic mother signs is her desire for her daughter to stop growing and never mature. My mom always told me I was crazy for thinking on my own two feet and disagreeing with her. She didn’t want me to think or have my own opinions.
She’d say: “Be simple, don’t think too much, be like normal people! Have a drink, you’ll feel better about yourself! You’re too complicated, everyone hates you for that!” That all was my mother’s attempt to attack my intelligence and my curiosity. I was curious about economics, politics, leadership, science, global warming, phycology, and business.
I was told early on that work was labor: farm labor, house chores labor, pickling produce for the winter every Summer night… But school, reading, studying – none of that was work. Whatever didn’t include labor was not work. That was what I was taught. I was enticed to labor instead of thinking: vacuum, peel potatoes, do laundry by hand, and farm.
Still, I graduated from four universities. Glory to God!
Three weeks ago on our Skype call, my mom said: “If you just came to me and asked me how to live, I would have prevented you from going to America!“
One of the common narcissistic mother traits is her over-sharing of inappropriate information. My mom always felt compelled to share with me who and how had sex with whom. She provided the details of how her girlfriends were having anal sex, oral sex, sex in cars, in the kitchen, with other couples, and even sex at work.
She never forgot to tell me any details of any sex-gossip.
Just to be clear: I was very young and had neither any interest in nor any need for this type of information. I was always shocked and told her that I didn’t need to know this but she’d say: “You will be a woman soon, this is all a normal human life and you need to know this!”
Three weeks ago, my mom was trying really hard to have me ask her questions about her current lover, to which I responded with complete silence and indifference while she was baiting to no avail: “So, Sergey is a friend, well, how should I tell you about him (BTW, I never asked about him)… Um… A friend, what can I say, he is a special friend!“
Narcissistic mother gives you random abusive calls and sends messages expecting you to listen to her poisoning stream of unconsciousness
One of the characteristics of a narcissistic mother is that she bombards her daughter with her stream of unconscious bul..it and expects her daughter to listen, read, and respond. My mom bombarded me with her aggression and negativity when I lived with her. She’d storm into my room and demand that I listen to her poisoning stream of unconsciousness and rage.
A few weeks ago, she started emailed me up to 70 emails a day, often condemning me for something I said or did a zillion of years ago and demanding my response to every email, every question, every time.
Three weeks ago, she sent me a picture of a note from me to her when I was very little. The note said: “Mama, I love you, though you’re giving me the silent abuse right now.”
There was a response written on the note: “I love you too, that’s why I abuse you. Had I not loved you, I would not have abused you.”
I asked my mom who wrote on the blue not. She said: “It was me responding to you, I keep this note because it’s precious!“
Narcissistic mother expects you to vulnerably disclose everything about yourself
One of the narcissistic mother traits is her demand to know everything about her daughter. That’s why one of the characteristics of daughters of narcissistic mothers is a complete lack of boundaries. My mom demanded that I start having sex when I was in college at 15 but I miraculously held on to my virginity till I was 16. That Summer, under mom’s pressure, I got drunk and hooked up with a totally random dude whom I saw for the first and the last time.
My mother wanted to know all the details of my every date with every man. I dated many men, some of whom were married and had children, and mom encouraged me saying: “If all women only slept with unmarried men, we’d have no children born, and our country needs children, so do it for our country!“
Three weeks ago on our video call via Skype, my mom wanted to know how I live, why I live this way, what I do from morning to evening, and after I answered her questions for hours, she said: “We know nothing about you, you always keep secrets!“
Narcissistic mother treats you with a reward-punishment system and expects you to meet all her demands
One of the narcissistic mother signs is her demand for performance. My mom said “I love you” to me when I did what she demanded from me. One step to the left or to the right, and I was hated and abused.
There was no unconditional love in my life. I had to perform to win temporary love in very small bites, and even those were seldom. She treated me with a reward-punishment system. Reward often was that I won’t get beaten or will be allowed to play outside for a little bit. Punishments were beatings, silent treatments, and hours of standing in a corner on a wooden floor topped with dry triangular buckwheat – on my knees.
Three weeks ago, on our Skype call, after we talked for six hours, my mom asked me to share why I left, what I think, and how I feel about her and grandma. I shared honestly, and it clearly was disappointing to her because none of what I said was the flattery she craved. So, she abruptly said while hanging up: “Ok, we have to go now, it’s late here, bye!“
Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 20 Symptoms
- Performance for Approval
- Identity Confusion
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Complex PTSD
- The Happiness Illusion
- The Wendy Syndrome
- The Imposter Syndrome
- Lack of Boundaries
- Enmeshment in Abusive Relationships
- Guilt and Shame
Daughters of narcissistic mothers feel anxiety
Anxiety is intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Because my mother was very inconsistent in her behavior, love, and affection when I was growing up, I never knew what to expect, so I always walked on eggshells for decades.
Life with my mom was very stressful. The stress was caused by the emotional abuse, physical violence, and sexual harassment I endured at home, but also by the turmoil of not knowing what each day would bring my way.
My mom could flip out in a split of a second or if a teacher showed up at home to check on me, she’d be the kindest and loving mom ever. Then, she’d switch without a warning and give me the silent treatment for days at a time.
I was scared of my mom because se was passive-aggressive, constantly-critical, overly-controlling, manipulative and deceitful, disrespectful, and violent. She was crazy. She was hateful. She was cruel.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress.
Anxiety is fear of what’s to come.
I always feared what was to come: I could get beaten any moment or I’d be the center of negative attention and mocking or I’d be blamed, shamed, and condemned for something I didn’t do.
So, I developed anxiety, which was covered up with alcohol and other addictions. After I gave up on my addictions, I experienced full-blown panic attacks many times in recent years, starting in 2016 when I was married to the Narcissist. When enduring abuse from him, I had a brief period of very bad drinking out of unbearable anxiety. Then, I discovered meditation.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers experience depression
Depression is a mental health condition characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in favorite activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. I wrote a lot about depression, including what depression feels like and lessons from being depressed.
Depression is known as self-aggression: anger turned inward.
It’s explained by Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University.
Typically, the daughters of narcissistic mothers have a learned habit of admiring and worshipping their mothers. The daughter was little and the mother was big, so for years, the daughter was taught and trained to worship her mother. The daughter was groomed to feel worthless and to do anything in order to make her mother happy. That’s why believing that it’s all your fault is so common in narcissistic relationships. That conviction results in self-aggression, which leads to depression.
I was never aware of depression, what it was, if I had it or not, none of that, simply because I was busy, running around with my head cut off, and having various addictions to help me cope with life’s struggles.
I became severely depressed in 2016, after marrying the Narcissist. That depression became severely suicidal. My recovery took years, and now I talk about my depression experience on this blog regularly and very openly. The only time I ever felt that same way was when I was 11 and 12 and attempted to kill myself to escape the misery of living with my mother.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers perform for approval
Performance-based love is all I got from my mom. It is what all daughters of narcissistic mothers, who ever shared their hearts with me, reported to me. Doing, doing, doing – it’s a pattern of winning approval and acceptance. Being is not a skill the daughters of narcissistic mothers have. Being requires stillness and relaxation, which was never allowed by the narcissistic mother who always kept her daughter walking on eggshells.
Unconditional love has never been shown or offered to me, it’s not something I had ever experienced or learned. When I came to Christ exactly six years ago, accepting and comprehending God’s unconditional love was very difficult. Being still and trusting God is a new skill I had to learn.
That’s why I love walking, reading, meditating, praying, and journaling. These self-care habits help me be still and let God reveal Himself to me. During my long walks with God in silence, I feel the most still. Being is all I need to experience God’s unconditional love. No doing required. No performance is necessary.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers exhibit anger
Anger is unresolved sadness. It’s unprocessed grief. You can read more about this topic here – From Sad to Mad: How Suppressing Your Sadness Invites Anger – and here – At the Heart of Anger is Sadness by Psychology Today. When I first heard about this, I was shocked and caught off guard.
It was 2014, I was on a couch at a therapist’s office, and I believed that I was happy, optimistic, and powerful. She told me that I was angry. I was in disbelief. She told me that my anger was a well-covered-up sadness. I was shocked. I didn’t believe that I had any sadness. She told me that unless I’d take the time to grieve, I would never heal, I would be angry and run away from myself into addictions forever.
It’s six years later.
I took a lot of time to grieve many sad things that happened to me. It resolved most of my anger. I cry often, and I have no addictions anymore. I wrote an article about this entire journey.
It’s called “Tell Me How You Really Feel.”
If you take some time to read it or listen to the audio podcast there, you will gain helpful insights into the sadness the daughters of the narcissistic mothers have to suppress and repress, which leads to unresolved grief piling up, compounding, and becoming raging anger.
My anger did not disappear.
It’s just over the years, I’ve learned what my anger is, where it comes from, why I feel what I feel, and the choices I have for dealing with my anger. I’m not perfect by any measures. But I do keep my eyes open for my triggers and responses. I take life day by day.
The most important thing for the daughters of narcissistic mothers, including me, is to journal about life and cry often. Processing grief is the key to managing anger. Sadness has to be allowed and embraced. Crying is healthy and helpful. Processing sadness helps prevent anger from compounding into unbearable rage or poisoning bitterness.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers carry bitterness
Bitterness is an emotion that encompasses both anger and hatred directed toward a person, God, company, industry, career, job, hobby, habit, or life in general, based on past experiences. Bitterness results in being profoundly upset at everyone and everything at all times.
In a narcissistic mother-daughter relationship, the daughter is abused, hurt, blamed, shamed, violated, and unloved. She developed many unresolved feelings.
I created a list of feelings to help identify some of what you’re had been experiencing and label your emotions.
Bitterness often leads to various illnesses, all rooted in unresolved trauma from the past. I carried a lot of bitterness and wasn’t aware of it. Just to be clear, I didn’t know that anything was ever wrong with me until I faced all this, one step at a time, over the past six years, starting in the Spring of 2014.
Until then, I was blissfully-ignorant and maniacally-happy.
I was “happy all the time.” Read The Happiness Illusion where I describe that season and our cultural cliche in greater detail. In 2014, when I gave my life to Christ, I asked Him to open up my eyes to the things unseen and change me.
God has been doing just that for six years now, but not all at once. It’s a process. Healing is a journey. I am now aware of and dealing with my bitterness by practicing forgiveness every day. Forgiveness is the antidote to resentment.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers feel resentment
Resentment is a complex, multifaceted emotion encompassing a mixture of disappointment, disgust, anger, and fear. All of the above are the emotions I witnessed my mother feeling toward her mother. I explain the details and the dynamics of their relationship in my articles called Spoken Word Poetry In Russia, How I Got Introduced to Spoken Word Poetry, and The Impact of Spoken Word Poetry on My Life. My mother was the oldest daughter of a narcissistic mother. My mom was grandma’s scapegoat.
I felt all of the above emotions toward my mother.
I loved and worshipped my mom when I was little and at the same time, I was scared of her. Also, I felt awkward with her because of how she constantly sexualized me, violated me, and demanded from me the kinds of things a husband would do for his wife.
Early on, I began realizing that my mom had mental health issues. My love, over the years, with more and more abuse and hatred coming my way, was replaced with feelings of disappointment, disgust, anger, and fear.
Eventually, I grew resentful.
Resentment is a very heavy burden to carry.
I explained the results of resentment in my life in my article called “I am Forgiven.” Resentment needs to be dealt with in stages because it’s extremely complex, so it takes time, energy, and effort to unpack resentment.
Dealing with my resentment and forgiving my mother freed my heart from the bondage with her and allowed me to experience God’s divine freedom, peace, and joy. I was able to do this deep healing work after I accepted my true identity.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers endure identity confusion
Identity defines who you are. To whom? To you. You need to know who you are. I had a big issue with this. Why? My mom hated and rejected me, she demanded things from me that made me feel like an adult when I was a child. I was a mother to my mother, I was a servant to her, and I was her husband, too.
My grandma rejected me because I was fatherless and she insisted that I don’t call her “grandma” publicly, though we lived in one small condo all together. It was bizarre and extremely confusing.
My father had many children from various women all over Russia and he was in jail almost all of his adult life, so my mom used to tell people that I came from the Holy Spirit (and she laughed saying it).
I didn’t know what the Holy Spit was but I did see my father in the flesh when I was five, and I always longed for him to grow up and come rescue me. He was a little immature by, so when I did see him, he tried to molest me, and I told him to f…ck off.
I never knew whose I was or who I was.
I was unstable and inconsistent in my identity.
Now I know who I am in Christ and what God says about me, and based on my identity as a special, precious, loved, and blessed child of God, I conduct my life. I know that I am God’s. I belong to Him. He created me for His divine purpose to do the good works He prepared in advance for me to do.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers face self-doubt
Self-doubt is the result of two things. First, my narcissistic mother always said “You’re worthless and a waste of my life!”, “Who do you think you are? You’re the daughter of a janitor! You will never amount to anything!” Second, she gaslighted me to think that I was crazy and doubt my reality. Also, she projected her faults on me so I was never sure what actually happened because I thought she was right and I was at fault.
I was filled with anxiety and self-doubt. And there was no one to believe in me, to encourage me, to pep-talk me, or to validate me. No one, except me. I had to raise myself and be my best friend and cheerleader. As an adult, I’ve built strong friendships. My friends encourage me, write out what they think about me, and I have God’s truth about my abilities and capabilities. That’s what I use to deal with self-doubt. Yet, I do still have it.
I’m 37, and I live my life through Christ, not in my own power. I explained in detail how I practice courage and accomplish my goals in the articles about Toastmasters and about how I became a TEDx speaker.
The only antidote to self-doubt is courage.
You can be fueled with couraged through prayer and surrender. Surrender what you heard your mom say about you to what God says about you. My mom hardly said anything positively genuine about me ever. But I came here not from my mom. I came here through her.
I came here from God.
What God says about me outweighs what my mom says.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers are crippled by insecurities
I was never aware of my insecurities. As a child, I had teachers who believed in me and challenged me to do great things, so I did those great things. I graduated from several universities, moved to America in 2008, and experienced such severe abuse that I had to be on my toes just to survive.
After the Dunwoody Police Department conducted a rescue operation in 2009 and helped me escape my abuser, I was homeless in a foreign country without speaking any English. There was no time to be insecure as I had to work hard every day to survive.
I taught myself English within 18 months and was accepted to GA State University in 2011. For the next 24 months, I had a job and was in school, all while being newly-married, with two step-sons, and writing a book about SMART goals. I had no awareness of my insecurities because I was so busy.
The first time I became aware of my insecurities was 2014. I am highly-aware of them now because I keep a huge breathing room on my calendar, spend a lot of time alone, and I do not avoid myself anymore. I deal with myself and my insecurities.
Though they are surely present and often cripple me to the point of panic attacks, I take all my insecurities to God in prayer and He gives me the courage to be bold and do the good works He prepared in advance for me to do. In my own power, this ministry would not be here helping thousands of women all over the world. Insecurities try to stop me from living my life to the fullest but God is bigger than my crippling insecurities. I trust in the Lord with all my heart and take action in faith.
I do is scared.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers show neediness
My needs were never met by my mother. In fact, I had to always meet her needs. What gives us an insight into the outcome of this experience is the attachment theory. Together with my anxieties and insecurities, I developed an anxious attachment style. I need reassurance all the time. I have fears that my friends will abandon me or die, so I need to be in contact often.
I surrender it all to God now but for years, this was a struggle.
I need quality time face-to-face, uninterrupted by phones and electronics. I need meaningful conversations. I can’t stand small talk. I need so many things! No one ever met my needs and no one can. Why? Because all the things I need only God can give me.
I do not cover up my neediness.
My friends know that I like long conversations about things that matter, and I prefer in-person meals at home instead of going out and being distracted. For the last 14 months, after I quit my job as the Director of Marketing in technology, I dedicated most of my time to God and this ministry.
God has been meeting all of my needs.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by intense and excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions). My OCD centers on the need to arrange objects in a specific manner and cleanness. Most people say my home looks like a museum.
The thing is that I grew up in a dirty home with junk everywhere. I lived with bugs and mice. The details on my OCD are explained in the article called Being the Child of a Narcissistic Mother Led to OCD.
The fundamental issue that leads to OCD is the lack of and the need for stability, predictability, and certainty. Sometimes, my OCD overwhelms me. I clean my home almost every day, I have no tolerance for dust, dirt, unmade beds, disorganized underwear and socks, and for disorder. Everything has to have its place, and it has to be this way for me to function.
There are many types of OCD: hoarding, intrusive thoughts, cleanness, orderliness, and others. I meditate regularly and pray for God’s help with my OCD. Often, I do not clean and do not organize. I give myself a break and allow my brain to learn to cope. Every morning, I am on my knees surrendering to God everything about me, my life, and my OCD.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers may have Complex PTSD
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experienced a series of traumatic events. When the underlying trauma is repeated and ongoing, this more intense type of PTSD can be diagnosed.
I was diagnosed with C-PTSD in 2016 when I was married to the Narcissist who abused me with cruelty and was the overall mirror of my mother (a child without effective communication skills, filled with hatred, jealousy, and explosive rage).
I discussed C-PTSD in detail in my article called Living with a Narcissistic Mother Resulted in C-PTSD. If I’m in the kitchen and a neighbor comes to the window to talk to me, I immediately go into a panic attack from being scared so unexpectedly.
Two years ago, I was enjoying a pool with my friend Sheila who is a teacher. She was sharing her perspective on some difficult children in her class, and after listening to the details of their lives for about 20 minutes, I started crying and shaking from experiencing flashbacks into my own abusive childhood. She was terrified. Me too.
I’ve experienced a lot of trauma.
I have a lot going on in my headspace.
C-PTSD is the hardest thing to live with because it can send me into the past without any warning in the present. A few months ago, I was walking my 10,000 steps outside and saw a neighbor running away from a guy, screaming: “Don’t put your hands on me!”
They were both barefoot, and he was chasing her with determination. I instantly called 911 but also grabbed a guy-neighbor with a big black dog, and, together, we went after the girl to try to save her.
When the dude who was chasing her saw this, he ran into their apartment, grubbed a little baby who had been there alone, jumped in the car, and took off. I called 911 to tell them this. They chased him down and were there to protect my neighbor.
I was unable to calm down for hours!
I even invited my neighbor Lorri to sleep with me in the guest bedroom because this whole situation took me back into the same thing I experienced. It shook me.
During a flashback, it’s hard to differentiate that you’re in the past. The flashback feels extremely real, like actual present. And that’s why I think that among all my issues, C-PTSD is the most difficult one to cope with and to get out of, after being pulled into the past by a flashback.
Yet, God is good and His mercies are new every day.
I live a functional and productive life, despite my C-PTSD.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers are trapped in the happiness illusion
The happiness illusion is something the daughters of narcissistic mothers have to maintain to please their moms. I was forced to endure everything without any complaints. No one ever allowed me to feel anything. I was there to ensure my mom was taken care of at all times. I was practically non-existent as a human. I was a commodity, a thing to please my mother and to do sh..t for her.
I smiled through it all. I was always happy, enthusiastic, and positive. I never ever was allowed to feel sadness. I was prohibited from being fully human. I was offered a drink any time I wanted to feel anything. I was told: “You’re too deep and too intellectual, it’s annoying, be simpler! Have a drink, you’ll feel better about yourself!”
Today, I cry when I want to, I do not invite fake people to be my friends, I am allergic to the dangerous maniac happiness portrayed by social media, and I don’t conform to the pattern of this world anymore.
I am fully human: sometimes, I’m joyful, sometimes, I’m sad, sometimes, I’m indifferent, sometimes, I’m angry, sometimes, I’m anxious, sometimes, I’m excited, sometimes, I’m fearful, and most of the time, I’m peacefully surrenedered to God.
I do not like the word “happy” as it’s misleading. I don’t say “I’m happy” typically, unless I’m joking about something that doesn’t matter. I choose joy. It’s real, independent of external circumstances, and comes from my faith in God, not anything that’s vanity.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers suffer from the Wendy Syndrome
I never was aware of my need to rescue men from themselves or their lives’ troubles. My second husband was Peter Pan. He was 26 years older than me, had three sons (one was my age and didn’t want anything to do with my husband; the other two were little boys, and we had full custody of them since their mother was bipolar). My second husband was a doctor, had his own practice, and lived with his mother when we met. He had no life skills.
He wasn’t able to pay his bills, to manage a household, to cook or even to figure out what groceries were needed. He expected laundry to be done magically by some laundry-fairies, and cleaning was not even a thing he ever considered. He wore dirty shoes with holes, unless someone (me) told him about it and bought him new shoes and put the shoes out for him to wear. Yet, he was a great politician.
He was a reflection of my mother, I just wasn’t aware of it at first. My mother is 65 years old today and she lives (and has always lived) with her 92-year-old mother. She has never moved out.
That was my second husband. He failed to launch.
His two young sons considered him a friend but not a father, according to the physiatrist appointed by the court after their mom filed for modification to their custody. I had deep compassion for my second husband and his boys. I thought it was love but it was my desire to make their lives better.
What did I consider better? Independence and self-sufficiency. They didn’t see those things as needed at all. They had grandma, to whom my husband was practically married. She was in charge of his finances, even insurance. I tried to fix him and make him independent, and we all were miserable.
Wendy Syndrome is described in detail in the literature, yet it was not anything I was ever aware of, so I thought what I felt was love. I married the doctor, the two boys, and the grandma. It was terrible. I was practically a nanny.
Their favorite movie was?…
Hook! Yes, Hook!
One day, my friend Candace, during our road trip, heard how we communicated. She told me I was Wendy. I had never seen Peter Pan and didn’t know about any of these relational dynamics.
When we got back to Atlanta, Candace came over, I bought the Peter Pan movie, and we watched it. I was Wendy, indeed. I was married to Peter Pan, fo sure!
I wanted to rescue my Peter Pan husband but he was just a little boy who was perfectly comfortable married to his mother who took care of all the bills, chores, food, planning, and even insurance.
We started counseling, which was useless.
Soon, I left him, filed for divorce, and was single for a while until I was deceived into another similar marriage by another little boy with no adult communication skills, budgeting, or prioritizing. That little boy loved his bicycle and wanted to spend money on anything he wanted. He couldn’t stand responsibility and accountability. After four months of marriage, that little boy filed for divorce.
I’ve definitely had to dig deep into my Wendy syndrome. What did I figure out? My mom used to tell me: “A woman who has no Prince Charming is stupid and useless.” So, I needed Prince Charming to prove that I was smart and useful. Mom also said repeatedly: “A smart woman will pick a bum and make him Prince Charming!” So, I was on a lookout for some losers to fix, and I got me quite a few losers. I tried to fix them but the one in need of fixing was me. I needed to dig out and ditch the bull…it in my head from my crazy mother.
Since this breakthrough, I’ve been working on myself without trying to rescue any lost boys anymore. This has been the best decision ever. I thank God every day for the peace and joy I am able to feel. Healing is a journey. It’s been a few years but working on this has been rewarding and very liberating. Surprisingly, no lost boys pursue me anymore.
I am now lost-boys-repellent!
Why? ‘Cause I ain’t fixing no men no more!
Daughters of narcissistic mothers struggle with the Imposter Syndrome
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”
What can I say? It’s complicated!
I graduated from high school with high honors at 15 – my mother said it was because of her. I graduated from college with high honors at 19 – my mom said it was all thanks to her but actually it wasn’t even valuable. I graduated at 25 with high honors from two universities – with a law degree and a business degree – my mother said that I’m a loser because all her friends’ normal children got married and had babies by then. I became an award-winning author in 2014, shared with my mom, and heard this in response: “Tell me: whom are you dating? That’s what I really want to know!”
When I read my journals, when I see people wear my Christian apparel, when I see my Christian poetry on the walls of people’s homes, when I read the reviews on my award-winning book, I do think that a cool person accomplished all that. I just don’t believe deep down that that person is me.
Deep down, my life always felt surreal.
I have my diplomas, awards, and important accomplishments on the wall at home. Sometimes, I look at my collection and think: “How awesome must be to be so accomplished!” It never feels my own, though, ever.
I give God all the glory for my life story.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers lack boundaries
Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone violates those limits.
The daughters of narcissistic mothers are not at all familiar with this concept from practical experience. Why? Because their mothers treated them as commodities, not humans. So, they were never even allowed to set any boundaries.
Even when they try, as adults, to set limits, those boundaries are not recognized or acknowledged. They are constantly violated. Why? Because narcissistic mothers believe that they own their daughters and that the daughters’ lives must be a sacrifice to them.
My mother never had boundaries with her mother. I never had any boundaries with her. I didn’t know what boundaries were, and I had never seen anyone establish healthy boundaries in our family.
When I was mentored at Buckhead Church Care Ministry on how to set boundaries with a narcissistic mother, the very idea of imposing my limits on my mother felt wrong. Why? I believed my mother owned me and I owed her my life.
I embraced boundaries slowly, but my mother has had a hard time honoring my boundaries. Yet, I’ve tried in the last 12 years. It’s getting better, slowly, and I must always have my guard up with her, otherwise, my mother will literally swallow me and eat me alive.
When I began working on my boundaries with me six years ago after I took a celibacy vow, I had to get the local police involved a few times because my boundaries were not taken seriously by a bunch of men who wanted my attention. Now, I am firm about my boundaries.
I assert my limits clearly. Whoever doesn’t respect my boundaries moves immediately into my past from my present. I don’t play around with my boundaries because they are precious to me.
Establishing boundaries took years.
It was so hard. It was painful.
The most painful to develop were those boundaries which I set for myself: no self-condemnation, no spending 1:1 time with men, no clubbing at night, no weed, no vodka, no making out with dudes, no smoking hookah anymore, no sex, no staying in bed all day, no pretending to be happy all the time. and the list goes on.
Yet, now that I’ve had these boundaries in place, I want to tell you this: my life is so much better because of my boundaries with others and with myself.
The benefits of having boundaries outweigh the painful work required to lay the foundation for them at first. Establishing healthy boundaries with the narcissistic mother is a lifelong process. I’ve made progress with my mom but it’s slow and shaky. If I give her a finger, I know she’ll bite my whole nad off. So, I’m watchful and alert with her at all times.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers get enmeshed in abusive relationships
Enmeshment is a description of a relationship between two people in which personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. This often happens on an emotional level where two people “feel” each other’s emotions. Narcissistic mothers have enmeshed relationships with their daughters whom they make feel obligated to take care of their own emotional needs. The daughter’s needs are not ever even acknowledged. The daughter’s emotional needs are never honored.
The daughter ends up serving her mother.
My mother had an enmeshed relationship with me. That resulted in me choosing a partner who didn’t even let me breathe without controlling me. I found myself in a physically abusive marriage in America in 2008-2009. I was in an enmeshed relationship with my first husband and ended up in a shelter for victims of domestic violence in a foreign country without speaking the language.
I was enmeshed in abusive relationships again and again, not only with men but with girlfriends, too, as well as bosses. I was married again to a guy who swallowed me into an enmeshed relationship without me even realizing it.
I shared it in a blog called How Satan Came at Me Looking Saint.
Today, I have clear and strong boundaries to prevent myself from ever being enmeshed in another abusive relationship. Boundaries take constant work, check-ins with yourself, and a regular review of how things are going. That’s why quiet time with God is so essential. Reflection time is a must-have for every daughter of a narcissistic mother.
Being retrospective leads to having a wise perspective.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers exhibit defensiveness
I realized just a few years ago that I was extremely defensive. I was wondering why so. Why do you think that was? Because I had to always defend myself! The daughters of narcissistic mothers are always blamed, shamed, condemned, abused, and violated. There’s no one to stand up for them to their mothers. So, who’s there to defend them? Them!
This has been difficult to recognize and deal with. The best way I know how to manage my defensiveness is by giving grace to people and to myself. I’m doing my best every day, and so do others. I really believe this.
When I get all worked up and defensive, I also get mad at myself for being defensive. So, it’s a vicious cycle. The only way out is God’s grace.
God’s mercies are new every morning. I accept them.
I reach out for God every day to help me deal with all this, help me manage life effectively, help me be productive, kind, patient, and Christ-like. My conscience is clear but I am not innocent. These words were said by the apostle Paul, and I keep them in mind to give myself compassion when I become defensive.
I understand my background. I understand why I am the way I am. I accept myself and all my baggage. I value my story. I appreciate the journey of my sanctification. I work on my healing. I take it one day at a time. I approach my journey with grace. I experience compassion for myself.
God is my defender.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers are overwhelmed by guilt and shame
Guilt and shame are what I experienced every day from my mother blaming me for everything. I explained this issue in detail in my article called Dealing with a Narcissistic Mother Forced Suicide.
I was mentally manipulated to believe that it was my fault that my mother got pregnant, that she wasn’t allowed to abort me, that I was born, that I was born a girl, that my father wasn’t with my mother, that my mother was single, uneducated, without a career, and everything else under the sun was also assigned to me as my fault.
To cope with all the burdens given to me to carry, I used addictions. I discussed my sex addiction in detail in an article called I Am a Sex Addict. There was always alcohol involved in such dosages which I can’t even comprehend right now. Also, there was a shopping addiction, an addiction to compulsive travel, and many others, including food.
By the grace of God, I am addictions-free today.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers go through various addictions
Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. A great article explaining addictions is “What Is Addiction?” There are many types of addictions.
The daughters of narcissistic mothers are most commonly addicted to sex, alcohol, and food. There are also powerful addictions to compulsive exercise and shopping, as well as the need to always escape life by excessive travel, which may lead to financial challenges and self-condemnation leading to doing it all over again to escape reality.
Gambling is a common addiction as well.
There are many others.
Addictions are hard to recognize and manage.
My friend helped me six years ago to get started on my healing journey. And today, I am open about the process of recovery because I want to help other women who are addicted and don’t even know it.
I wrote a blog about my sex addiction recovery.
I also created a thinking model to help you see the consequences of your actions and choose accordingly. It’s called the ITCEBO model. The first and the most critical step in addiction recovery was my complete surrender to God and understanding of my own powerlessness.
Surrender was hard for me to do. Now, I’m glad I did.
I explained to you the symptoms of the trauma the daughters of narcissistic mothers experience. Those are internal battles that I myself also have to fight daily. However, abuse endured produces good character qualities. And I want to focus on those positive, desired, admirable character qualities that are such common characteristics of the daughters of narcissistic mothers.
Reflect on how diamonds come about.
Those precious and highly-valuable gems are formed in the Earth’s mantle, somewhere between 1 and 3 billion years ago. Formed by heat and pressure, diamonds are then delivered to the Earth’s surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions or the movement of subduction zones that bring the diamonds up to the ocean floor. In addition to being formed deep in the Earth, diamonds can also be formed from the immense heat and pressure of asteroid strikes.
Diamonds get their brilliance from three things: reflection, refraction, and dispersion. The daughters of narcissistic mothers are very special kinds of precious diamond gems!
Characteristics of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
- Strong ambition
- Multiple achievements
- High reliability
- Outstanding work ethic
- Predictable accountability
- Relentless fortitude
- Functional independence
Daughters of narcissistic mothers have a strong ambition
The daughters of narcissistic mothers have a strong ambition. They’ve been trained to perform for approval. They strive for more. They’ve been groomed to long for greatness.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers demonstrate multiple achievements
The daughters of narcissistic mothers accomplish multiple achievements in many areas of life. They are eager to achieve success, and they work very hard, tirelessly, tob make big things happen.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers prove their high reliability
The daughters of narcissistic mothers are highly-reliable. You can count of them because they’ve been groomed to do what is expected of them, so they dod it. If they say that X will be done in Y way by Z deadline, it will be done in that exact manner.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers exhibit outstanding work ethic
The daughters of narcissistic mothers have an unbeatable work ethic. The’ve been trained to work, to work well, to work for results, and to make sure their work is done perfectly and on time. They are hard-working women.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers show accountability consistently
The daughters of narcissistic mothers are predictable and accountable. You don’t have to follow up with them and micromanage them. They micromanage themselves. They will report back to you on the status of the project. They will follow through on their promises every time. They are dedicated and they are launching around waiting for someone to come check on them. They get sh…t done, consistently.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers possess relentless fortitude
The daughters of narcissistic mothers possess relentless fortitude. They’ve been beaten and brought down to their knees. They’ve been surviving without love, encouragement, and validation. They had no approval, no per-talk, no gratitude, no affection. Yet, they rise. They go on no matter the adversity, despite the obstacles, and they don’t quit. They persevere.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers display functional independence
The daughters of narcissistic mothers live on their own and pay their own bills. They aren’t just appearing to be independent. They are independent and functional. They go to school and to work. They run a side hustle, too. They do chores for themselves. They clean their place, they cook, they do laundry, they do handywork, they can fix a broken toilet and replace bulbs everywhere. Their resume is always up-to-date. They do their taxes on time. They are not waiting for anyone to do anything for them. They do everything themselves. If they don’t know how to, they find a way to learn quickly. They are independent and functional adults.
Narcissistic Abuse Examples
I’d rather take a razor blade to my arm than let you in on the dirty little secret that I am flawed and hurting.
I don’t trust myself to be anything but people-pleasing, yet I don’t trust people.
I apologize when I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s safest that way.Psychcentral.com
“It doesn’t matter what I do for her; it’s never enough.”
“I bought my Mom a beautiful gift for her birthday, but she took it back. She always takes my presents back. What’s with that?”
“I hate Mother’s Day. I can never get it right.”
“My mother’s feelings are forever being hurt. Why doesn’t she appreciate how hard I try?”5 Ways to Deal With a Guilt-Tripping Mother
As a child, I knew my mom was different from other mothers. There was nothing nurturing about her. She didn’t give hugs, she didn’t wipe tears. For the most part, she didn’t interact with me at all unless she was angry with me. I could never be certain of her mood, and each morning I woke up with a pain in my chest, wondering what the day would hold.. I always stayed on her good side because if I wasn’t, there were beatings and verbal abuse. I learned to be quiet, and I learned to anticipate and read moods. And I learned that my feelings should be kept inside—because the feelings of others were more important, and how I appeared to everyone else was important to my mother. I had to be the smartest, the best dressed, the most polite. Instead, I became afraid to speak or interact with others because I didn’t feel I could ever be good enough.The Daughter of a Narcissist
When Becca asked me to go home with her to visit her mother, I hesitated. I have known her for a while and she has told me at length of the grief she has experienced because of her mother over her lifetime. Although she says she loves her daughter it is clear to Becca these are just words as everything she does say quite the opposite.
According to Becca, her mother is obsessed with her own image and will stop at nothing to make sure she appears the way she wants to in other people’s eyes. My friend does not remember a time when this wasn’t the case. Her mother insults and demeans her and makes sure the rest of her family sees her as weak and psychologically damaged.
At first, it was difficult to believe everything my friend was saying. I wrote it off to her being angry and only seeing the negative things her mother had said and done. I mean we all have issues with our parents at some point in our lives. While I accepted that her mother was doing hurtful things, I figured it was something that was episodic and not as extreme as what I was hearing.
But then my friend took me home to meet her. She seemed a bit apprehensive about doing this saying her mother always found a way to turn her friends against her. I assure her this wouldn’t happen.
In the beginning, her mother appeared charming. She seemed genuinely happy to meet me and insisted on putting out a lavish spread for us even though we’d eaten before we came. She asked how I had met Becca and I told her. I felt my friend tense beside me. She asked about my family and where I was from. She asked if I lived close to her daughter. Then Becca excused herself to take a work-related call. Her mother immediately came and sat next to me on the couch.
“Becca and work. She works so hard you know. I just don’t know why she’s never been able to make anything of herself, with all that work. She comes to visit after months and then has to spend all her time on the phone. I worry about her. Do you think she’s okay? I mean, what does she do that’s fun? Does she even have other friends? I’m a mother, I worry. Who are some of her other friends? Would you mind giving me your phone number, just for emergencies? I’d never use it unless it was really an emergency but sometimes Becca just won’t answer my calls and she doesn’t call back for at least an hour.
Whatever you do, don’t tell Becca. She’s so strange about her privacy. But she just won’t let me into her life. I just want to know my daughter. But if she finds out I said anything to you she’ll take it the wrong way. She’ll probably end up thinking that it was you who tried to tell me things about her behind her back and she won’t want to be friends with you anymore. It’s happened so many times before. Just don’t say anything.”
Pow! It had taken less than 15 minutes to get here. Luckily Becca returned before I had I time to reply. I don’t know what I would have said.
At this point, her mother wanted to show off her garden. She linked her arm in mine and leaned towards me, talking in a low voice, while walking ahead of Becca as if she wasn’t even there.
“Uh, mom. Hello? I’m actually here also. Maybe you want to include me in your little secretive conversation?”
Uh oh. I winced. She had fed right into her mother’s actions. I noticed a small smile on her mother’s face. “Really Becca, I don’t know why you are so paranoid. It’s really a problem I hoped you’d get over with all that therapy of yours.”
Here she turned to me. “She’s been in therapy since she was a child, but I’m sure you know all about that.” It seemed more like she didn’t think I’d known about it. “But I guess not even all those therapists could do anything with her either.” She laughed.
“Nice, mom,” Becca said.
“Oh, stop being so serious. You’re so serious all the time. I was just joking. Elizabeth, knows I was joking, don’t you?”Daughter of Narcissus
My mother viewed my problems as competition, so she got sick a lot for attention. Pretty soon, we knew that Mom’s ‘fainting spells’ were more ploys for attention. After that, we ignored her and talked over it. She continued to fall sometimes. She’d lie there for a bit and then pretend to wake up in confusion. Everyone loved her. She remembered everyone’s birthday and baked them a cake. My sisters and I never got birthday cakes. I’ve worked hard to have a workable relationship with my mother, not a loving one. She doesn’t have a clue what that is. I’ve never had a single moment of maternal affection from her.A Daughter’s Story of One Hell of a Narcissistic Mother
Since my mom told us it was all our fault each time she lost control of her temper we all took steps to reduce stress in the home. But after a while, we were accused of keeping things from her and treating her like a child.
She liked to use Christianity to prop herself up. She loved rules. She held us in a legalistic version of Christianity for her sake- but a sneaky legalism. A belief system that we had freedom in Christ and we were cleansed from past sin, but the guilt was part of our daily lives. We were bad people and that made my mother mad.
Remember, I was a bad daughter for making my mother so angry that she lost her temper, yelled and broke things. Shame on me for bringing out the worst in her. It was my fault she was a bad person.
She was a master at the outside image she wanted to maintain for the right people. She obsessed over being a good hostess and homemaker. If a wrench was thrown into her plans (sometimes something as small as a cake not rising or running out of dust cloths) she flew into a rage.
Her rage was self-deprecating on top of all her other projections. “Who forgot to buy dust cloths? You want me to fail don’t you? You distracted me at the store and made me forget eggs, you don’t think you need me, fine, why am I even here? You should just get rid of me since I can’t do anything right. I’ll kill myself, I’ll do the hard work since you can’t.” Halfway through this scenario, she’d throw down whatever was in her hands. She’d create the most noise she could. Any time she talked about herself she’d hit her chest with her hand with more force than most people would inflict on themselves. I can still hear the hollow THUD, THUD. Her voice would crack and she’d cough. She’d breathe so loudly through her nose when her voice stopped, she sounded like a horse. It was in these moments I wondered if she was human or acting under another influence. Some of her actions seemed almost superhuman.
Her ability to mold your mind into what she wanted you to believe is something I’ve never seen matched. It’s a slow, constant progression, brainwashing you barely notice. She used subtle things growing up. Pointing out the failure of another child to back up a claim about disobedience was one of them. Specifically, any child that moved out of the family home either before college or not intending to go to college was a kid that no longer wanted to abide by the rules in their parents’ home. This seems tame, but to my mom, this was a major disrespect. She had no qualms telling us that if a girl moved from her parents’ house she wanted to be a slut and no longer respected her parents. Her ideas were black and white, making sure no one left the nest to embarrass her or tarnish her public image.
In some ways, public image mattered a lot anyways with our family. Without a whole lot of detail, we were well known in political, Christian and homeschooling circles. The last name rang a bell with just about everybody. Presentation was important but my mom was obsessive about it. Appearances were everything. Hair to toenail polish with the right shoes. Maintaining a well-manicured look is not at all bad. But when you are shamed for not being flawless it’s a huge problem.Toxic Mom: Covert and Malignant Narcissist in a Christian Home
In May, I decided to go “No Contact” with my narcissistic mother. It was after my housewarming party, where she ignored me except to insult me, and later when I confronted her, gaslighted me. Her snide comment that day had not been the apex of her cruelty. The most cruel? Years ago when I told her I was finally pregnant with a long-awaited 3rd child and she put her head in her hands and sighed, “Oh no. . . .” A few weeks later, when I miscarried that child, she said nothing.
She is a master generator of the lesser, Chinese-water-torture variety of insults: “I was looking at your wedding picture the other day and you both have gotten so old” or the year we took her to Thanksgiving dinner at The Cottage in Flagstaff and she informed me it was time to start my cosmetic procedures: “You suddenly have so many crow’s feet.” Or taking the kids swimming at her house: “This family is so fat.” She stormed out of my baby daughter’s baptism because she did not like her assigned pew.
For years, when seeking help from counselors and priests after she had emotionally eviscerated me again, when I would start with, “Well, on Christmas morning. . . ” I would be brusquely confronted, “Why was she there?! Why did you invite her?!”
Healthy, spiritual people told me repeatedly that I needed to emotionally emancipate myself.
It took until this past May, after the housewarming. Perhaps it was because I realized that if my mother could not share in my joy at the apex of my life, when I am in my 40′s, in a long, happy marriage, with a new home and healthy, almost-grown children, she never, ever would.
Why hadn’t I gone “No Contact” sooner? Well, guilt. And the 4th Commandment: Honor thy Father and thy Mother.Honor Thy Narcissistic Mother: The 4th Commandment
I grew up as the fifth of six kids. My mom, who I later came to believe is narcissistic, favored some of her children over others. Those who were favored never saw my mom’s ugly side. Those who were unfavored could do nothing right. In an abusive family, no one is really loved and no one grows up whole. My mother was so skilled at covert abuse and “rewriting” reality that siblings were pitted against each other and we never saw her hand pulling the strings. I was very empathetic, compliant, and obedient, and I wanted to “show Christ” to my unsaved family. This made me very guiltable and I became a secondary favorite. My mom called me “The Christian” and “The Caring One” who could be counted on to be helpful. I had no idea that we weren’t all loved equality. When I discovered that we hadn’t all been loved, I reached out to my other unfavored sisters and we became friends for a number of years. However, that was an illusion. The relationships had been too damaged in our childhood to survive.
My status changed when at the age of 28 I got engaged to my husband. My mom tried to establish control over us, she tried to break us up, and when I resisted, she lied about me and turned my whole family against me. Never again could I ever please her. I thought at first that my mom was just having trouble letting go, but this was not a normal struggle between a mom and her adult daughter. My mom wanted total control. For 20+ years I tried to reconcile with her without submitting completely to her control (the same sort of control abusive spouses try to exert over their victims), but it was impossible.
My mom refused to help me plan my wedding when I asked but she told my husband’s family that I refused to let her help. She made life so stressful that I ended up having had an “immediate family only” wedding, not the wedding I had always dreamed of, in which she wore black and she muttered under her breath all through the ceremony. Our pastor said that in all his 30 years of ministry, he had never encountered a family like mine.
Shortly after our wedding, my mom called me “a daughter from hell — the worst daughter a mother could have” and “the worst Christian she had ever seen.” She criticized how my husband and I spent our time together after we got married, and how we managed our finances — even where we placed our furniture in our home. One of the last times I talked to her, I called her to tell her that I loved her and always had, thinking that maybe she just didn’t know I loved her. In a rage, she began listing all the good things that she had done for me all my life and all the rotten ways in which I had betrayed and abandoned her. I had done no such thing. When she began to speak against my husband, who had never done her any harm, I told her, “Don’t you dare speak against my husband.” I hung up after several minutes of hearing her rant over and over again in an absolute rage, “I dare, I dare, I dare. Oh, I dare speak against your husband. I dare, I dare, I dare.” But a few months later she sent me a card as if nothing had happened.
Through the years if I withdrew from the abuse my mother would send me a sweet card or one of my siblings would contact me with dripping guilt: “God wouldn’t want you to be bitter.” “We ARE family after all.” Or “Mom is having medical tests for a health problem that could be serious. . .” I had once heard my Mom deliberately planning to write a letter to one of my outcast sisters making my mom’s broken leg sound as if it might be cancer. . .”to see if she loves me enough to respond.” Because of this, I distrusted vague un-named health problems. Health problems were especially a no-win situation because if I responded by reaching out to her (as I normally would have), I was allowing myself to be drawn back into abuse. If I didn’t, I was “the terrible daughter who didn’t care.” It took me years to realize that these were all common abuse tactics to draw a victim back in.
For many years, I was very confused and hurting, trying to reconcile with my family but finding it torturous. I went to the church for advice, and I confided in Christian mentors, but their advice was that my mother was wounded, she was doing the best she could, they were sure she actually loved me, I needed to love and forgive her more, and I needed to “honor my parents.” “Honoring parents” appeared to mean that I should do whatever my parents wanted me to do, which would have meant submitting to being told what to do, what to think, what to feel, and what to believe. I struggled with the 4th Commandment until I fully understood that an adult is not dishonoring if she doesn’t submit to her parents’ abuse. The relationship changes when a child becomes an adult. Because of this advice, like many victims, I stayed in the abuse far longer than I would have otherwise.A Story of Lifelong Abuse by a Narcissistic Mother
Confronting a Narcissistic Mother
Confronting a narcissistic mother is completely useless, will put you in a dangerous situation, and will work you up or even make you sick. It’s useless because a narcissistic mother has no conscience. She lacks empathy. You want her to understand how you feel so you knock and knock on her headspace door, yet ain’t no one’s home, honey. No one’s home. Ok?
Your sharing of your feelings with her will take so much energy out of you but do nothing. Why? She doesn’t give a sh..t about your feelings, honey, because she considers you a physical extension of herself. You are a commodity.
I know it’s painful.
You can hate me or write negative comments here on my blog or send me an angry email. My email address is public.
I’m here to speak the truth: don’t confront your mother because she doesn’t give a sh..t about your feelings or you, she’s obsessed with herself, and she’ll make your life miserable in every way if you piss her off with your useless confrontation.
How do I know? Um… Well…
I confronted my narcissistic mother, and she tried to kill me many times. We ended up in court in 2008. So, I speak from experience. There’s a hole in your heart. You want to make everything right. You want her to understand. I know, I know. I know!
She won’t understand, though.
Instead, focus all that energy and effort on your recovery.
Take your pain and all your hurts to God. He cares. Pray, cry, weep, journal, grief, forgive, and repeat. Write poetry, make art, dance, work out, meditate, go to kickboxing, do what you need to do to address your feelings in a healthy way and to cope productively.
But don’t confront your narcissistic mother.
And stay away from her. Keep no-contact with her.
Next, I’ll tell you how to deal with your narcissistic mother. Do not read between the lines. I’m Russian, so I’m straightforward. When I suggest that you experience compassion and love for your mother, I am talking about your feelings. They are within you. Don’t read between the lines: Anna said I need to reconcile with my narcissist mother. No, that’s crap. I would never ever suggest that you reconcile with her. But you do need to reconcile yourself and her to God, so forgiving your narcissistic mother is essential.
Forgiveness is not reconciliation.
How to Deal with a Narcissistic Mother: 7 Steps
- Try to understand your narcissistic mother
- Experience compassion for your narcissistic mother
- Pray for your narcissistic mother
- Forgive your narcissistic mother
- Love your narcissistic mother
- Maintain no-contact with your mother
- Practice self-care for healing
Try to understand your narcissistic mother
My mother is evil, self-obsessed, disinterested in my wellbeing, abusive, and hateful. She wants me dead: she said it and I see it. Your mother must be awful since you’ve read this article so far. You must have been suffering all your life, and I am very sorry to know that you’re going through so much.
That being said, I know that my mother was raised by the same kind of mother. Nothing good was ever taught to my mother. I am sitting here in a large, clean, safe, beautiful home, fed and warm, writing about all this after years of healing and processing. My mother lived in a pit with 10 other people, abused, overworked, underpaid, and she had often nothing to eat because of communism. Plus, we were all politically oppressed by the Soviet propaganda and brainwashed. My mother did her best.
Imagine your mother a little girl. What was her life like? Was she abused? Was she hated? Was she cherished and nurtured? My mother was never cherished or nurtured, so how could she cherish and nurture me? I try to see my mother the way God sees her. I often envision my mom as a little girl, think about what she’s lived through, and I experience compassion for her as a little girl being a scapegoat to her cruel narcissistic mother who became my cruel and violent grandma. I envision grandma as a little girl, too.
Experience compassion for your narcissistic mother
Compassion is sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Experiencing compassion for my adult mother who abused me violently is hard. So, I go far into the past and visit my mom as a little girl there, in the past. I see my mom as an innocent child who’s being abused, taken advantage of, blamed for the fact that her sister is dead, deployed for heavy labor, shamed for her looks, called ugly and stupid, and robbed of self-esteem permanently.
After those visits with my mom as a child, I feel empathy, compassion, unconditional love, and forgiveness. I pray for my mom, her heart, hear soul, and her life. I pray for her joy and peace and that she finds Jesus.
Go into the past and see your mom as an innocent little girl. Observe her life as a child. See what happened to her. Imagine how those events made her feel. What did she learn from the kind of life she had? Can you feel compassion for your mom? take a look at her through the eyes of God.
Pray for your narcissistic mother
Once my heart if filled with love, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness, I fall on my knees and pray for my mom. Through prayer, I surrender my mom to God. I cast all my anxieties on God who cares. I give up my bitterness and resentment and let God work it all out trusting that He truly uses all things together for good.
Pray for your mom. What does the little girl you met in the past need? Does your mom-girl need love, wisdom, guidance, salvation, healing? Ask God to break your heart for what breaks His and let your heart look at your mom through the eyes of God and pray for your mom as a child of God.
Ridding your heart of anger, bitterness, and resentment will make space for unconditional love, grace, and foreignness. You need to forgive your mom.
Forgive your narcissistic mother
Forgive your mom to set yourself free from the bondage with her. Forgiving my mom was not even a question at some point. I was confident that it would never ever happen. The pain was too much. The harm was too big. The wounds were too deep. But God called me to forgive her, and I did.
Forgiveness is an even when you decide to let go of the debt your mother owns you. Also, forgiveness is a process. New memories will come up, new hurts may take place, and you will need to forgive again, again, and again.
Forgiving your mother is essential if you want to liberate your heart from the prison of bitterness and resentment. Don’t hold the grudges and expect someone else to suffer. You are the one suffering from holding the grudges. Let go and let God!
Love your narcissistic mother
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;Proverbs 3:3-4
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.1 John 4:16
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.John 15:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.1 John 4:12
Maintain no-contact with your mother
No-contact is the best way to protect yourself from the narcissist. Don’t talk to your mother, don’t go visit her, don’t ask others about her. The less yoy’re in contact with her, the more protected you are from her abuse and the less gossip she’ll be able to spread about you.
If you can’t do no-contact, do low-contact.
How can you love your mom and go no-contact?
It’s possible. Loving your mother happens in your heart. It doesn’t mean you need to run to her and be her punchbag forever. I highly encourage you to stay as far away physically and mentally as possible from your abusive mother.
This is very complicated and depends on your exact situation. I don’t have all the answers but God does. Call Him up through prayer, and He will tell you what you need to do. He always uses His messenger – the Holy Spirit.
Maintaining no-contact, low-contact, and strong boundaries is essential for your healing and to help you figure this narcissistic mother-daughter relationship out without exposing yourself to more abuse. You need time and distance from the brainwashing. You need silence and quiet time with God. So, no-contact is a great way to help you heal.
God called you to be wise, watchful, and avoid harm.
So, be wise and avoid harm.
Practice self-care for healing
Healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers requires time, energy, effort, grace, patience, wisdom, and self-care. Learn to take care of yourself: exercise, eat healthily, sleep eight hours, practice Christian guided meditation regularly, read good books that help your mind, walk 10000 steps, take professional development classes, learn to express your creativity through writing, poetry, painting, or dance.
Clean and organize your home, take a road trip you always wanted, sign up for a hiking club or Toastmasters, learn public speaking skills or even write a book! Do the things you want to do. Challenge your own growth. And definitely take time to be quiet and journal. Go to therapy or work with a Christian coach to help you grow with God and create a joyful life by embracing God’s word.
Self-care is the best antidote to narcissistic abuse.
How To End a Relationship with a Narcissistic Mother
Ending a relationship with the narcissistic mother is a myth, and I bought into it 12 years ago when I left my mother and emigrated from Russia to America. I had never been back. Yet, I’ve remained in a relationship with my mother, even during the long-lasting periods of no-contact.
Let me explain…
I thought that ceasing contact was the same as ending a relationship. Well, it’s not. My mother and I are in a relationship that can’t be ended even if she dies. It’s a relationship that reaches far beyond the boundaries of countries or continents or time or age.
My mother found people in Atlanta, GA to send me messages about her, to harass me, and to make my life miserable. She’s pretty much insane, and I can’t change that. My mother is satanic.
It’s important to differentiate between me and my mother as we talk about the relationship she and I have. It’s important to understand where I end and my mother begins. She never understood it, which is why she always violated my boundaries. But I need to understand it so that I stop buying into the relationship end myth.
I can’t change my mother, I can’t prevent her from harassing me, I can’t make her compassionate or wise, nothing I can do about the way she is, what she does, what she says, and how she views me. Nothing. Please notice a period at the end of that sentence. Nothing I can do about making my mother different. Period.
But there’s a lot I can do when it comes to me in our relationship. I need to be completely honest with myself and acknowledge that, in the last 12 years not even a day passed when I was not thinking about my mother or longing for her love. I must be transparent and wise and understand that the longing I feel will never ever be fulfilled by my mother.
I have to accept it and ask myself genuinely about what I want to do about it. I want to continue loving my mother in my heart and being kind to her by helping her in small monetary ways. I want to support her financially, which I do. I want to talk to her as rarely as possible and as little as possible.
I want to reveal to her about myself absolutely nothing and I want to be boring to her in order to reduce her gossiping and tale-telling about me. I want to continue forgiving my mother daily for the sake of my mental health, sanity, and healing.
I plan to be maintaining my long distance from her forever. I will never see my mother in-person ever. I decided this 12 years ago, and I honor my decision. I pray about my mother every day. I want to continue praying for her.
Next, there are other people, such as “messengers,” and friends. There’s a lot I can do when it comes to these two people-categories. There are “I am so and so in Atlanta, your mom reached out to me online, and she has a message for you.” That’s an immediate block. I block people on social media regularly. I do the same via text.
Why does my mom need messengers? She’s blocked everywhere on social media from all my accounts but she still has the desire to harass me.
When it comes to the “friends” category, it’s complicated. They have to be honest and tell me what’s going on but many people are actually afraid to tell me about my mom reaching out to them because they don’t want to upset me or cause a C-PTSD flashback for me or make me angry at her for stalking my friends online.
Several friends told me recently about my mom’s stalking of their social media accounts and befriending them. I am learning to deal with it. I make it clear to everyone: you can’t be friends with my mom and me. Your choice. Mom’s harassment never stops. That’s how I know that my mom will never change. I just know that I have to change and set stronger boundaries – with mom, with messengers, and with friends.
Now, I shared a lot with you.
What’s the main thing?
The bottom line is this: I moved to another country to be away from my narcissist mother, I blocked her from social media and my phone, I spent 12 years away from her, and I took long-lasting periods of no contact, yet, she’s always present in my heart and in my head.
Don’t deceive yourself believing that you can end a relationship with your narcissist mother. But you surely can cease contact with her forever.
Ending a relationship with the narcissistic mother is a myth.
But ceasing contact with the narcissist is a healthy idea.
Frequently Asked Questions
The effects of narcissistic abuse are explained in great detail in the following articles: Stockholm Syndrome in Victims of Narcissistic Abuse, Cognitive Dissonance as a Coping Mechanism Used by Victims of Narcissistic Abuse, Dissociation as a Survival Mechanism in Narcissistic Relationships, Suicidal Ideation as an Attempt to Escape Narcissistic Abuse, C-PTSD as the Result of Narcissistic Abuse, and Echoism as the Result of Narcissistic Relationship Abuse.
Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome is a group of symptoms experienced together and consistently by the victim of narcissistic abuse. The word “syndrome” comes from the Greek “syn,” meaning “together,” and “dramein,” meaning “to run.” A “syndrome” is a set of signs and symptoms that tend to run together in a cluster that can be recognized as associated with abuse. Symptoms cluster, all together.
What are those symptoms? Read Narcissistic Victim Syndrome Symptoms.
Explaining narcissistic abuse requires data. Collect data: on such and such day, here’s what happened, here’s how this relates to what happened on such and such day and such and such event and how all this affects me. It’s a basic framework but you got it, I’m sure.
Narcissistic abuse is complex, there are multiple realities involved, and the narcissist has a mask to wear to deceive others. So, to explain narcissistic abuse, you must gather data by journaling.
Then, learn to discuss that data.
It’s very difficult because it’s so personal. Practice talking about it and you’ll eventually get there. It takes time, energy, and effort. You can get started in the comment box below: tell me your story.
The narcissist makes you feel crazy as you’re being pulled into multiple realities through Gaslighting; guilty as you’re being blamed for the narcissist’s faults; hopeless as you’re being mentally manipulated with cruelty; suicidal as you can’t see a way out of abuse but can’t take it anymore.
Yes, healing from narcissistic abuse possible. You won’t have amnesia and forget what happened to you but you will, with time and practice, learn productive coping skills and find peace with whatever is.
Life has been hard on you. But you are strong.
The goal of healing is not to give you a brain surgery and remove your memories of abuse but rather to equip you with self-care skills and help you find purpose in pain so that you can transform your wounds into wisdom and leverage your baggage as a blessing to help others.
Self-care, purpose, and meaning are critical to your healing. All three take time to learn and master. So, give yourself some time.
Recovering from narcissistic abuse takes a lifetime. It’s a process, not an event. You need to gain awareness of what happened to you, how it affected you, and the impact of narcissistic abuse on your psyche.
You need to grieve your losses, such as your mom as you imagined her, and also the love you imagined you’ll one day get from her, the support, the validation. None of the above is coming your way. Not from her. And you need to grieve all the losses.
You need time to learn new coping skills to help you endure your memories of trauma. It takes time to find meaning in your pain, discover your purpose, and get healthy physically and mentally through practicing self-care, establishing new habits, setting boundaries, discovering your true identity, and moving forward.
I shared with you a lot in this long and detailed blog post. I tried to make this content very practical and applicable to your daily experiences. If you landed here, I assume that you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother. If so, I know how much you suffer every day with self-doubt, confusion, lack of self-trust or self-love.
Self-trust, self-love, and self-knowledge can be taught to a daughter only by a mother who possesses those qualities herself.Dr. Karyl McBride, from Will I Ever Be Good Enough via Forbes
The narcissistic mother-daughter relationship is complicated. How narcissistic mothers affect their daughters is very complex. There’s their uncontrollable obsession with the daughter’s appearances over feelings, which results in addictions.
There’s their treating the daughter as a servant, which results in a lack of self-esteem and enmeshed relationship tendencies. There’s constant competition with the daughter, which results in identity confusion. There’s the mother’s perception of her daughter-child as a physical extension of herself, which results in her daughter’s performance-based perspective of love.
There’s the mother’s use of her daughter’s accomplishments to boost her own fragile ego by taking all the credit, which results in the daughter’s imposter syndrome. There’s the mother’s uncontrollable rage, which results in her daughter’s anxiety, OCD, and C-PTSD. And the list goes on.
The effects of a narcissistic mother on her daughter are long-lasting, far-reaching, and heart-breaking. The daughters of narcissistic mothers never feel good enough or valuable. They feel worthless and useless. They are deeply afraid to speak up confidently or challenge others because any difference in opinions was always considered by the mother a personal attack and started a war.
The daughters of narcissistic mothers are very attuned to what everyone around them is feeling because they have a hypersensitivity to what others are experiencing. It’s overwhelming and exhausting.
The daughters of narcissistic mothers are chronically unsure of themselves and overly-anxious about others’ opinions. They are deeply insecure because they never experienced unconditional love. They are performance-obsessed because the conditional love given to them was performance-based.
Writing this article was hard for me, because I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother. This is very personal to me. I was honest in this article about my feelings and used my unfiltered language to show you the impact of my childhood on me even today.
I’m 37. My mom is crazy but she was raised by a crazy mother, too. She gave me her best, though it was abusive and painful and damaging. She just gave me what she had, that’s all. In her own insane way, she loves me.
I love my mother, this won’t ever change.
My healing continues every day as I’m learning to cope with life and my trauma effectively, practice my faith over fear, forgive my mother daily with an open heart, and trust God’s good plan for my life.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:32
The biggest damage was done by the narcissistic abuse I endured to my identity. Who I am has always been a difficult thing to discuss because I was never sure. I had no clarity about my identity. Then, God revealed himself to me and taught me who I am as a child of my heavenly father, born with a divine purpose, and blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Today, I help women see themselves the way God sees them. I’ve specifically been focusing on identity in Christ. From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His daughters. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women.
To help share this life-changing information with you, I created an ebook called #52Devotionals. Download it now for free.
My free ebook helps you understand who God says you are. Don’t be vulnerable to identity attacks from the mainstream media, relatives, coworkers, your boss, society, culture, and the voices in your head.
Stand firm and know what God says about you.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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