What is a narcissist? A narcissist is a person who cares about no one but themselves. The way that the narcissistic personality got its name is from a Greek Mythology character Narcissus who simply couldn’t stop himself from falling in love with his reflection in the water.
That is how narcissistic people are; they love themselves, and everyone else is just a means to their end. For a daughter of a narcissistic mother, those traits in a mother can be highly damaging and have some real consequences for their future sense of self, their behaviors, and the future relationships they have.
Unmistakable signs that you may be the daughter of a narcissistic mother
Constantly trying to please someone who can’t be pleased over a lifetime can take a real toll on your psyche. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know that they have been a victim. To the daughter of a narcissist mother, she was just a “little demanding.”
Being the daughter of a narcissistic mother is quite arguably the worst form of child abuse that anyone can endure – only made worse because it is internalized. There are no outward signs of the abuse, and when the child tries to make sense of what is going on, narcissistic mothers will do something called “gaslighting.”
That means that she will tell the child that they are crazy and making it all up in their head. Making everything more stressful, where there is a narcissistic mother, there is typically a co-dependent father who is more than happy to back up the “you’re crazy” notion. [Read: Gaslighting – 16 signs someone’s totally messing with your mind]
Here are the long-term signs that you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother.
#1 You suffer from low-self esteem. Narcissistic mothers show affection only when they want something. Typically, they are demanding and never satisfied, which can leave a daughter of a narcissistic mother feeling like they are never good enough.
Continually trying to find approval from someone who uses it for emotional manipulation purposes, adults raised by narcissistic parents often never feel like they are never enough and suffer from low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
#2 You have some level of self-loathing. Never feeling good enough, or as if you can never do the right thing, can leave you disliking who you are. If you can’t ever make the one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally happy, you form an opinion about yourself that you aren’t worthy of love. That can lead to self-loathing and transfer over into poor decision-making later in life.
#3 Self-care is an issue. No matter what you looked like when you were young, you were either too fat, too thin, or just not pretty enough. That can take its toll on you during the formative years when you develop your sense of self. If you can’t ever please anyone, then why continue to try?
That can leave a daughter of a narcissistic parent to give up trying to make herself presentable to the world. After all, what is the point if all you get is negative feedback? [Read: 12 signs of a narcissist and 5 ways to break up with them]
#4 You talk negatively about yourself. A daughter of a narcissistic mother tends to talk very negatively about themselves. Mirroring the statements they heard about how and what they were growing up, they mimic the disapproval that their mothers bestowed upon them through their own verbal self-definitions.
Downplaying their own good features and characteristics, they are very unlikely to relish in any good qualities that they possess.
#5 You seek out poor relationships. You spent your entire childhood trying to please someone who couldn’t be pleased. Although having nothing to do with you personally *that was all on your mother*, that disapproval you felt continually takes its toll.
That can leave a daughter of a narcissistic mother feeling very unworthy of love, attention, or approval and may have them seeking out people who mistreat them. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships to watch out for]
#6 You feel as if you have to hide who you really are. You learned very early on that you weren’t who you were supposed to be. So, you pretended to be who you thought your mother wanted. When you did show your true side or feelings, you were quickly debased and told that you weren’t good enough.
A daughter of a narcissistic mother often hides who she is both physically and emotionally, hoping just to blend in and not make waves. This only leaves them further vulnerable to criticism and ridicule.
#7 You have a tendency to self-sabotage. Being disappointed so many times growing up, you likely learned that luck and good things just aren’t in the cards for you. Trying to protect yourself from further abuse, you have a tendency to sabotage the things that are good in your life as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you don’t love someone, you can’t get hurt. If you don’t desire things, they can’t be taken. It is a protective mechanism that is way more destructive than protective. [Read: Sabotaging your happiness – 12 ways you’re ruining your own life]
#8 You are burdened with perfectionism that isn’t obtainable. It is not uncommon for a daughter of a narcissistic mother to try to attain perfection in everything they do. From always getting straight A’s to having eating disorders, they are always trying to fly under the radar from criticism by being the epitome of what they consider perfection to be.
Unfortunately, even if you ever attained it, you wouldn’t know because you would think it isn’t good enough.
#9 You make less of your successes. Your mother never allowed you to celebrate your accomplishments or who you were, so you tend to carry that disallowance of celebrity into your adult life.
If you do something amazing, you typically give credit to things outside of yourself and your control. Downplaying your own success, you have a hard time thinking you are capable of doing anything good or right. [Read: 25 signs of covert narcissism – A different kind of mind game]
#10 You downplay any tragedies in your life. Likely, a daughter of a narcissistic mother was told that any tragedy she mulled over made her a “drama queen.” So, she is quick to downplay major disappointments or any bad things that happen.
Learning to let it go and get on with it was a part of growing up. So, a daughter of a narcissistic mother just put a band-aid on a seeping wound and carried on.
#11 You are overly fearful of those in authority. Fearful of your mother’s disapproval and often hurtful behavior, you have a fear that all adults will treat you with disdain. Growing up, that feeling transfers to anyone in authority.
Giving them way too much power, you fear anyone who has influence or power over you because you have learned that they don’t typically rule with fairness. [Read: Emotional manipulation – 14 ways people mess with your mind]
#12 You have a very hard time setting boundaries with family and friends. A daughter of a narcissistic mother doesn’t usually have “no” in her vocabulary. Being a pawn, maid, and servant to a demanding mother growing up, taught you that saying “no” isn’t an option. That leaves you everyone’s punching bag and worried about everyone but yourself.
#13 You worry that you may be a narcissist yourself. The worst thing that you can imagine is that your mother’s behavior has somehow rubbed off on you. You worry about your decisions and continually question your own behaviors and motives for fear that you are becoming someone so hurtful.
#14 You are still afraid of her and her reactions, no matter what age you are. When you hear her call, or you do something wrong, you cringe because you know there is no comfort in her contact… only reprisal.
Whether you are two or sixty-two, you know that there is a verbal lashing and a verbal assault that will crush your spirits waiting around the bend. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted by others]
#15 You are still trying to get her approval to no avail. You probably know that you aren’t ever going to get it, but you never stop trying. Our society has taught us that mothers love their children. That is just the way it is. And you can’t understand why you don’t feel love from yours.
So, you constantly, and will forever, crave her approval even if you rationally know it is unattainable.
#16 You want to cut her out of your life, but then become afraid and confused. How many times have you said “that is it” and cut your mother out of your life?
There is something in you that knows how destructive she is to you, yet, you still can’t let her go. That is the guilt, fear, and push and pull you felt growing up. You want to cut yourself free and find peace, but you always get sucked back in. [Read: 10 guilt-free ways to handle guilt trippers in your life]
#17 You have problems with abandonment and trust. If you can’t trust your mother, then who can you trust? If the person who gave birth to you and was responsible for your well-being did anything but made you well, then how are people who aren’t related supposed to care about you?
#18 You don’t feel as if the world is safe. The only people in the world who you can truly ever depend on are the people who brought you into this world. If they aren’t your safe place, then there is none here on earth.
A daughter of a narcissistic mother is often fearful, anxious, and views the world and the inhabitants of it, in a negative and threatening light. [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you]
Being the daughter of a narcissistic mother is one of the harshest forms of child abuse that any child can endure. The first step to recovery is recognizing that it isn’t your fault. You have nothing to do with your mother’s continual self-absorbed, emotionally-manipulating, and indifferent behaviors toward you.
As hard as it is to shed the past and re-evaluate the way that you see the world, you likely have other people in your life who love, care, and give you the unconditional love that your mother was not capable of giving.
If you want to break the cycle, you have to first try to forgive your mother for not being capable of being the person she should have been. Then, you have to forgive yourself.
[Read: Father-daughter relationship – 10 daddy issues it can lead to]
You didn’t do anything wrong – you’re just the daughter of a narcissistic mother. In fact, you did everything you could. Now it is time to give yourself the unconditional love that your mother isn’t able to give you.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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