The Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Replace daughter with son and I know this mother... A "mothers unconditional love" does not exist within all mothers. This I know for sure. Some are too self-absorbed to truly love anyone.

Unfortunately, I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and the words above describe my mother to a tee.  Going “No Contact” with her in 2013 was difficult at first but the wisest decision I have ever made.

(I will be writing future articles on PTSD and emotional abuse relating to parental narcissism, as it crushed my soul and ruined my life for countless years.)

Deb

Dr. Karyl McBride’s Website

Other Links on here:
How PTSD Impacts Our Lives
Unloved Daughters and Problems with Friendship

MENTAL ILLNESS: Should I Apologize for being Depressed?

shutterstock_Quotestrong4-1 (1)

An odd question. However, this thought has crossed my mind countless times over the years, forever questioning what my life would be like without mental illness.

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Where would you be if it weren’t for mental illness or depression?

In the mid-1990s, mental illness first tossed me into a life of bleak, depressive despair, feeling hopeless and helpless, coupled with hospitalizations, countless medications, and ineffective ECTs.

I found myself apologizing for being ill, but why? Apologizing for an illness?

I felt guilty for my deteriorating attitude, the considerable burden I placed on my husband, absence and imperfection at work and primarily failing myself.  The slightest bit of self-confidence achieved throughout the years coupled with the status at my current job dwindled now appearing threadbare.  I was losing myself.

Depression focusses on the negatives.

For one, I kissed my livelihood goodbye. As a well-paid accounting supervisor, enjoying my job and colleagues, I imagined a lengthy career with this company, but, unfortunately, due to the constant absences caused by the illness and hospitalizations, I had no alternative but to leave my position.

Government disability followed after a lengthy two-year wait.  You discover swiftly how to become thrifty.

Back then, both hubby and I lived on comfortable salaries and jetted off to balmy climates once or twice per year; it was a routine. I was able to afford fashionable apparel, household furniture or other articles on a whim without fussing over budgeting our money. Peculiar how you take vacations for granted, as of today we haven’t been on an actual vacation in almost 20 years. (Not a priority actually).

Positives

Luckily, I worked through some issues in therapy, medication was stabilizing my depressive moods, and I was capable of returning to the working world after nine years absent.

The job I accepted was a call center position (collections), but with a prolonged absence from working for nine years, it was a daunting, rocky road in the beginning.  I was appreciative that this company gave me a chance at employment even with a spotty resume.

I survived six years with this company, only to find myself ill with depression and severe migraines, leaving me with no choice but to accept long-term disability.  But at the same time, I wouldn’t have realized the enormous extent of stigma in the workplace.

I have progressed to the point that I’m no longer hospitalized and can function daily. Extensive psychotherapy has resolved the heaps of painful issues that have been haunting me most of my adult life.

I envisioned participation in the writing field in some capacity. It has forever been a passion of mine since I was a child, jotting daily in my diaries.

It’s doubtful I would have been invited to appear on a radio show, speaking engagements, ghostwritten articles for other bloggers, or requested articles as a guest writer discussing mental health, depression, bipolar, etc.

I also wouldn’t have this fantastic blog (since 2007) that has allowed me to express my feelings about my experience struggling with PTSD and depression.

If not for mental illness, I’m uncertain I would be the compassionate, understanding, and accepting person that I am towards others now. I have enormous patience when speaking with anyone struggling with mental illness or other invisible illnesses. Also, a thirst for knowledge on subjects related to medical information, and if not afflicted, I may not have researched.

I continue to struggle with depression on an odd day with frustration, regrets, and tears – but that’s not unexpected, I suppose. We’re courageous, but must forge onward, and be strong.

We’re in this together, you and I, and we must never apologize for our illness.

(edited and reposted)

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019

 

Unloved Daughters and Problems with Friendship

image: QuoteForest

While reading this article below, I immediately thought of myself and the difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life with friends.  For me, I believe it’s been a huge trust issue and becoming over-sensitive during many of my friendships. 

At times, due to a phone call or an e-mail not being returned, I interpreted this as my mother disregarding me when I was younger, and now friends not giving a hoot about me either.  Many other traumatic instances during my childhood came into play, thus losing many friendships.

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This article on PsychCentral.com written by 

While rarely mentioned, one common legacy of an unloving mother is the daughter’s diminished ability or total inability to form close and sustaining friendships. This is a significant loss since friendship plays an important role in many women’s lives: our girlfriends are often the people we turn to in times of joy and trouble, when we need company or support, or we just need someone to truly listen.

Unloved daughters often have trouble forging these bonds or maintaining them; the emotional isolation they felt in childhood is often replicated in adulthood when they find themselves with few or no girlfriends, or women they can actually trust.

Why is that? Our mothers are the first females we know in close proximity and we learn, for better or worse, not just what it means to be female but how females connect and relate. As children, we absorb the lessons our mothers model through their behaviors, accepting them as normal—we have nothing to compare them to, after all—and these become the unconscious templates for how we believe women act and relate in the outside world.

Even though we’re unaware of them and their influence, we carry these scripts when we go out into the world as children, adolescents, and adults, and make friends with other girls and, later, women.

As the daughter of a jealous and withholding mother, I was cautious and wary as a girl when it came to friendships, especially in adolescence. Looking back, it’s clear that I viewed all girls as potential competitors who, if I let them, would somehow get the upper hand and hurt me.
Another women, now in her fifties, confides that “My own neediness and insecurity trip me up with friends. I always end up, somehow, being the pleaser with other women. I give 100% and they give 10% and I end up feeling used.”
Joan Crawford and adopted daughter, Christina, wearing matching outfits in 1943

The internalized voice of the mother—telling you that you are unlovable, unlikeable, unworthy, inadequate—can become especially shrill when you’re in the company of other women, whether they are neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances or even girlfriends you actually long to be close to.

Gleaned from many conversations, here are four pieces of the maternal legacy that directly affect female friendships.

 Lack of trust   

A loving and attuned mother models live in a world in which people are trustworthy and that extending yourself—leaving yourself open and vulnerable to another person—has great benefits. The unloved daughter learns the opposite and, even worse because her mother never acknowledges her behaviors, the daughter not only distrusts other people but her own perceptions and feelings.

In friendships, she may be dismissive or wary or in need of constant reassurance and proof that her friend is really on her side. Either way, how she acts—even though she may want and need the friendship desperately—effectively sabotages it.

  1. Unable to heed boundaries

Absent the validation of self a loving mother provides, unloved daughters have difficulty recognizing what constitutes a healthy boundary; they may vacillate between being overly armored and being much too clingy. While this is partly a result of the daughter’s lack of trust, it also reflects her ongoing unfulfilled need for love and validation. “I think I exhausted my friendships when I was in my twenties and thirties,” one daughter, 48, reported. “It took me a long time to recognize that my friends needed space and that, sometimes, my constant demands for their attention were too much. Therapy helped me see that all I was doing was focusing on my needs without understanding the give-and-take friendship requires.”

  1. Over-sensitivity

All unloved daughters have trouble managing negative emotions—they have difficulty self-regulating and are prone to rumination—and, if their mothers have been dismissive, combative, or hypercritical, are always vigilant and self-protective. A friend’s comment or gesture that wouldn’t even appear on a securely-attached daughter’s radar can be totally misunderstood and blown out of proportion by an insecurely-attached one. These can be small things—an unreturned phone call, a late invitation, an offhand remark—that become triggers and flashpoints.

  1. Feelings of rivalry
Unfortunately, the unloved daughter’s lack of trust, difficulty with boundaries, and over-sensitivity may be compounded by feelings of rivalry, especially if her mother has been jealous of her or if there was another favored daughter with whom she competed unsuccessfully for her mother’s approval and attention. While unloved daughters who are only children tend to idealize the relationship of sisters—think Little Women—the reality is much more complicated.
As Deborah Tannen writes in her book You Were Always Mom’s Favorite: “These two views [of sisters]—someone who sets you straight and someone who twists your words so they boomerang back and hurt you—represent the potential best and worst of sister conversations.”

It’s often hard for the unloved daughter to acknowledge her feelings of competition because the culture tends to look away from or minimize rivalry between and among women. Thinking about sisterhood is so much more pleasant, even though the word frenemy has been around since the 1950s when it was coined to describe politics, not rival girlfriends.

Susan Barash Shapiro’s book Tripping the Prom Queen paints a more realistic picture of the complexity of female connections.

Alas, the loneliness of childhood may be unwittingly extended into adulthood unless conscious awareness is brought to bear on a daughter’s reactivity

Source: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/knotted/2016/02/unloved-daughters-and-the-problem-of-friendship/

Related posts:

https://cherished79.com/2017/05/14/mother-do-you-deserve-a-card-ptsd-survivors-of-abuse/

https://cherished79.com/2017/06/01/the-narcissistic-mother/

 

Do you know How to leave a Narcissist?

This is an excellent site flyingmonkeysdenied.com for articles on Narcissism and PTSD.
I found this post “How to Leave a Narcissist: Four key things to expect (step by step)

How to leave a narcissist.

Step one — understand walking away means planning to lose not only their half of the money and personal possessions, but also what they own.

Know they will do whatever it takes to destroy you socially, financially, psychologically, physically, and emotionally — more so if THEY were 100% at fault for the demise of the relationship (not less).

Expect zero help financially, physically, or with moral support; offering closure or remuneration to a victim is something a Narcissist resists, noting that even the process of grief will be interrupted repeatedly in order to make sure a target does not have it.

Step two — Plan you budget based on your own ability to produce income — not theirs.

Understand if you set your budget based on what you yourself can cover that you will never end up short; conversely, if you expect alimony and child support and rely on a dime to pay your bills that you yourself will have given them a highly effective manipulation tool to harm you directly each and every month a payment arrives late or never comes in.

Step three — Prepare to have your heart broken as they will perpetually strive to estrange children, family members, your entire emotional and social support network, and friendship circles from you with bonus points for their own ego if they can throw a home-town very public smear-campaign into the mix. Continue reading “Do you know How to leave a Narcissist?”

PTSD ~ Marriage is Supposed to be for Love

My guest post today is from Mariah’s blog “Recluse“.

I remember the day I realized that I was in an abusive marriage. I called my mom, who lived 800 miles away blurting out my abuse and fear. I will also never forget how she responded. Mom expressed her opinions and words, and it was if blinders were removed from my eyes.

That was the day I recognized that my husband was violent and things weren’t about to change.

The Beginning

When I was in my first marriage, I was very young.  I was 20 when we were married, and I had been with him since I was 17.  Needless to say, I was hell-bent on making it work, because I was “an adult now” and that’s what “adults” did.  They kept their promises, paid their bills and took care of their responsibilities.  Except when they don’t things begin to change.

Soon after getting married, my ex-husband slowly started to show his true colors.  Long story short, he was emotionally and verbally abusive, manipulated our finances, was addicted to pornography and video games, had drinking problems, and he had an affair outside of our marriage.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Marriage is Supposed to be for Love”

Maternal Narcissism ~ Mom, only wishing you could have said these words to me…

They burned the bridge, then ask why I don't visit. | unluckymonster made this with Spoken.ly:

Recalling my childhood, my mother seldom had any positive or encouraging words for me, mainly heartless or cruel remarks, only criticizing me for one thing or another spewed from her mouth. She was continually displeased, and only now recognizing that it would be impossible to accomplish ever pleasing this woman.

I was thinking the other day, what words would myself and perhaps others wish their narcissistic moms compassionately said to them.

Mom, if only you could have said:

~I know you don’t lie, of course, I believe you

~Always come to me when you’re upset or angry, I love you

~I’ll always believe in you, whatever your dreams are

~Let’s just have a girl’s day out once in a while, your choice, whatever you want

~You look so cute in those clothes

~Don’t focus on body image, it’s what’s inside

~You’re more important to me than anything

~I’m so damn proud of you.

~I love reading your stories/artwork/playing games

~You smell so nice and clean

~Don’t always spend time in your bedroom, we should spend more time together

~Your feelings matter you have a right to your opinion, I’m not always right and remember, we all make mistakes

~You look like something is bothering you, want to talk about it?

~Let me take care of you when you’re so sick, how about hot tea? Or I’ll sit beside you or we’ll lay in bed together

~Sure, have your friends over anytime, they are always welcome

~You’re so precious to me, having a daughter is a blessing

~Anything you want to ask me, go right ahead

~I love the way you laugh

~I’m sorry, it’s my fault, not yours/my mistake sorry I made you feel bad

~You are worthy, don’t let anyone make you feel that you are not

~Someone is going to be a lucky man to have you as his wife

~I want to just hug you, and keep hugging you

~I’ve got the best daughter a mother could have

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

Do You Harbor Resentment?

 

Do you harbor some resentment?  I hate to confess I do; feeling embarrassed with a character flaw such as this, it becomes awkward to discuss.

Resentment, or the strong and painful bitterness you feel when someone does something wrong to you, doesn’t have actual physical weight, but it feels very heavy and can last a long time. Forgiveness is one way to get rid of resentment.  — Source: Vocabulary.com

Resentment can occur under any circumstances although some people’s resentments are deep-rooted, but the best example for me involved a work situation.

I recollect years ago, another woman and I were up for a similar promotion.  We weren’t chummy friends; so that didn’t enter the picture, however, we did work in the same department.  Both of us shared equal qualifications, and employed there longer than her, I assumed I would get the position hands down.  Well, guess what – I didn’t.  You know that reaction when they ultimately drop the bomb, you politely smile yet you are seething inside ready to secretly attack the winner! In retrospect, I was so cheesed off at myself for sitting there meekly accepting my loss and must have had the word “resentment” written on my forehead.

Continue reading “Do You Harbor Resentment?”

NPD Maternal Narcissism – Mom, describing most of your nasty traits

image: willieverbegoodenough.com

Mom, you scored beautifully on this:  31/33 (and you’re lucky I was being generous!).

How would your mother score out of 33?

(repost)

Ambiguous Grief: Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive

I found this article interesting recalling the grief I experienced while my grandmother struggled with Alzheimer’s, gradually becoming worse and failing to even recognize me.

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My guess is that when people read the title of this article they will react with either a, “what are they talking about?  How can someone be grieving someone who is still alive and what the heck is ambiguous grief???” or a “holy crap, yes!  I have felt exactly that way! Thank goodness WYG is finally covering this topic”.  This is one of those topics where if you have been there, you get it and if you haven’t, you don’t.  Either way, hopefully, you’ll read on.

Before we dive in, if you clicked on this post because you feel like you are grieving someone with a terminal illness who has not yet died, there is another WYG article you should read before you read this article.  Check out our article on Anticipatory Grief, which is about the grief that comes when we anticipate that we are going to lose someone.

In contrast to anticipatory grief, there are times in life when someone we love becomes someone we barely recognize.  The person is still physically with us, but psychologically they are gone. There are a range of reasons this can happen.  Some of the most common are things like addiction, dementia, traumatic brain injuries, and mental illness.  If you have never lived through loving someone in such a situation, this can be hard to understand.  The person you love is still there, sometimes they ‘look’ sick, sometimes they don’t.  But regardless of how they look, they do things they would never have done, they say things they would never have said, treat you in ways they never would have treated you, and they are not there for you in ways they previously were.  This is sometimes referred to as “ambiguous grief” or “ambiguous loss”.

This may sound very abstract, but when it occurs in your life it is very concrete and real.  Your mom, who always loved and supported you, doesn’t recognize you, understand you or says hurtful things.  You husband, who was always kind and considerate, is now lying and stealing to support an addiction.  You son, who was brilliant and driven, is now struggling with delusions and hallucinations.

More on this article @  whatsyourgrief.com

The Lady Found in the Snow

She was in her fifties and reported missing four or five days ago, a picture of a woman looking cheerful, with striking blue eyes, shoulder length light brown hair wearing a black and green mid-length parka. It was on the news and in the newspapers repeatedly, her picture of a woman with a warm smile.

To me it sounded peculiar, as if intentional or planned; waking in the morning, followed by calling in sick to work then vanishing. When reported missing, the police were summoned, then several friends and relatives began searching also. The investigation dragged on with no success, and it’s as if she went ‘poof’ into thin air, no trace, no use of credit cards.

Days passed, when someone identified her van at a cemetery, and not too distant from the van they discovered her body dead in the snow. The police didn’t reveal information as to the cause of death.

The newspapers stated that she was a registered nurse, worked for twenty-two years at the same hospital, extremely well liked and exceptional at her job. Her spouse was a clergy at the only church in the town where the family lived, and she leaves behind two children.

Continue reading “The Lady Found in the Snow”

Why Was I A Disappointment?

Image source: differentdream.com

WHY WAS I A DISAPPOINTMENT?

why was I such a big disappointment
and what age did you start loathing me
your son wasn’t treated like that
and I tried everything in me to please

the sexual abuse wasn’t my fault
yet you made it and believed it to be
to save face in the neighborhood was so important
keeping the secret didn’t destroy you as it did me

Continue reading “Why Was I A Disappointment?”

Narcissism ~~ Dear Mom, are you listening…

For my Narcissistic mother.

It’s been two years since I’ve cut off ties with her, and although she treated me like crap, I still miss having a ‘mother‘.  In therapy, I’m working on the impact of how living as a daughter of a narcissist has affected my life.

Trust has been a huge problem for most of my life, starting in childhood.  Firstly trust was broken by the neighbor who sexually abused me, followed by both parents who refused to believe, thus making me apologize.  Learning to earn trust again with adults has taken years, mostly through therapy, after all, trust must be earned.

— Deb

 

SUICIDE: THE TABOO WORD

Suicide: definition…is an act of willfully ending one’s life.

Males die much more often than females by suicide, while females attempt suicide more often. U.S. Caucasians commit suicide more often than African Americans do.
People commit suicide more often during spring and summer.

Suicidal ideation produces the perilous side of mental illness, acting as both a friend and seducer. Even though thoughts of dying encapsulate our mind on one hand, we yearn to remain living on the other. We desire just to feel better.

Continue reading “SUICIDE: THE TABOO WORD”

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