Narcissistic mother codependent father

The Narcissistic Parent | What Is Codependency?

A narcissistic parent behaves as they imagine themselves to be—the king or queen of the family, or someone whose activities are more important than being part of the family. As a child, your parents are your world until you’re able to leave home. Your survival and self-concept depend on them. A narcissistic parent can severely damage your self-esteem, which to develop requires love and acceptance from both parents. Children of narcissistic parents typically grow up insecure and codependent.


They struggle with shame and low self-esteem. Their adult relationships are distorted by their early childhood experiences with a narcissistic parent. Although the traits of narcissism are the same, their expression by a mother or father may impact male and female children in unique ways.[1] Here’s why their parenting is toxic:

Lack of Empathy

Because narcissists lack empathy, they’re unable to nurture, mirror, and understand their children, which are necessary for developing a healthy self-concept and self-love. Even a narcissistic mother who holds and cares for her baby isn’t able to accurately empathize with and respond to her infant’s cues and emotions, limiting normal child development. Some narcissists outsource parenting and are neglectful to varying degrees, while others might be controlling and abusive. As adults, these children neglect their emotional needs and can’t nurture themselves.

Selfish Control—It’s All About Them

Mature parents sacrifice their individual needs and wants for the good of the child and to meet their child’s essential needs. In contrast, narcissistic parents put their feelings and needs, particularly emotional needs, ahead of those of their children, who generally adapt, become codependent, and gradually deny their needs and feelings to deal with those of the parent. They personalize their child’s failures and natural impulses toward autonomy and either ignore their child or become more overbearing. Their child’s independence is considered a threat that can compete with and encroach on them. Watching her 20-month-old grandchild explore her living room, my narcissistic mother remarked, “He thinks he owns the place!”

A negligent, controlling, or mixed parenting style is emotionally abandoning. This is to be expected because, like all narcissists, these parents don’t see their children as separate human beings. The child’s needs, wants, and emotions become inconveniences, personal affronts, or burdens, like the father who coldly told his young son that he had no value because he had no net worth. Many such parents behave like children, reversing roles and confiding in their children inappropriately about the other parent (especially after a divorce), about sexual experiences, or about personal sorrows and distress.

Don’t expect narcissistic parents to be involved with their children’s hobbies, goals, or interests unless it’s also their goal or interest. They won’t take pleasure in their children’s accomplishments or attractiveness except to the extent that it reflects well upon them. Similarly, they don’t share in their children’s excitement or pride in something unless it was their idea or of interest to them. They will likely insist that their children dress, think, and behave according to their wishes. This extends to the choice of school, spouse, and career. They sometimes force their aspirations on their children, hoping to live vicariously through them. Children of narcissists may be driven to prove themselves to win their teachers’, employers’, and partners’ approval or find little motivation to pursue their wants and goals when not externally supported.

These parents sometimes expect their children to listen to their rants and rages; meet their social, sexual, or financial needs; or clean the house or yard immaculately while they relax. One cruel father demanded that his son dig a swimming pool, while another ordered his son to cut the grass with a razor blade or face physical abuse. Some narcissistic parents threaten to physically harm their children or cut them off emotionally and/or financially if they fail to measure up to their parents’ desires and expectations. As adults, they’re afraid of making waves or mistakes and being authentic, and they learn to subjugate their needs and feelings to others.

Competition, Envy, and Jealousy

Narcissistic parents envy and compete with their children’s attractiveness, athletic or intellectual abilities, and other sorts of favorable attention that their children attract. For example, they may flirt with their children’s romantic partners; they often envy their children’s connection with the other parent and may interfere with that relationship; narcissistic parents may even envy the advantages they provide to their children that they didn’t have growing up and sometimes follow up with accusations of ingratitude.

Narcissistic parents make negative comparisons to put their children down. They might compare a child to a sibling, friend, cousin, or even themselves—going on about how spoiled, inferior, or lucky their child is compared to them when they were young. Such behavior stems from the same jealousy and envy that motivates competition. Sadly, many children of narcissists struggle for years, decades, or a lifetime with shame and low self-worth.

You’re Never Good Enough

Like all narcissists, narcissistic parents are prone to brag about themselves, their achievements, their family, and their children. No one is equal to them or good enough for them. Arrogantly, they judge and expect excellence of their spouses and children. Although narcissistic parents may sometimes appear attentive and caring, their behavior can easily switch to controlling and shaming. Their children try to win their acceptance, but their love is only conditional, and the conditions are always changing. Trying to please any narcissist is a fruitless endeavor, but children blame themselves when they’re unable to satisfy a narcissistic parent. Growing up according to “should’s” further alienates them from their true self and leaves them feeling sad and hopeless.

My mother always lamented that my brother hadn’t studied law, claiming that he would have been an excellent lawyer. Obtaining that praise is undoubtedly why I chose law, but that would prove elusive. When I became an entertainment lawyer, she complained that I wasn’t a Hollywood agent, presumably because it would be more glamorous. When that didn’t happen, she urged me to be a judge, which would have higher status. When I decided to become a psychotherapist, she tried to dissuade me, arguing that I’d make more money practicing law.

Abuse and Manipulation

Children are suggestible and manipulable, and a narcissistic parent can easily control a child with guilt, threats, and belittling. They shame their children, as they do their partners, with name-calling, criticism, undermining, blame, and withholding love. Frequently, they project onto their children their feelings of unworthiness and negative traits, such as attention-seeking or selfishness; characteristics which they disown. They ignore, deny, and criticize their children’s feelings and needs, sometimes punishing a child for expressing normal emotions, claiming he or she is too sensitive or weak. Parents often use or withhold love and acceptance to reward and punish their children, creating constant insecurity and teaching them that love is conditional. Such abuse damages any child’s sense of self and self-esteem and can be as traumatizing as physical and sexual abuse.

Healing the Wound

The lack of unconditional love, acceptance, and emotional connection in childhood can leave you with a void and unfulfilled yearning. Often adult children of narcissistic parents become depressed, have unacknowledged anger, and feelings of emptiness. Lack of emotional support for their feelings, needs, and desires creates a pervasive feeling of deprivation. This is emotional abandonment, when you feel undesired, left behind, insecure, or discarded by a trusted loved one. To varying degrees, it can rob you of motivation and the ability to express your rights and feelings, fulfill your own needs and wants, and set boundaries, further limiting your development and self-esteem.

Until you accept your parents’ limitations and begin to love yourself, you will never be free of suffering. You relive the emotional abandonment of your childhood and seek validation, self-worth, and lovability in relationships with abusive and/or emotionally unavailable partners, including addicts and narcissists. You may unconsciously make things worse by automatically reacting like a child to an abusive or controlling parent. You easily accept blame and find fault with yourself because conditional love is all you’ve ever known. This futile journey can lead to lifelong misery because external validation never heals internal shame and emptiness. Recovery entails overcoming codependency and shame acquired in childhood to feel entitled to love and appreciation. When you heal, you come into proper soul-alignment with your true self and destiny. Begin to Raise Your Self-Esteem and learn to confront abuse and improve or leave a narcissistic relationship in my book,  “Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist: Essential Tools for Improving or Leaving Narcissistic and Abusive Relationships. ” See Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You to assess your symptoms and begin recovery.

©Darlene Lancer 2022

[1] For more on narcissistic parents, see my blogs, Sons of Narcissistic Mothers and Fathers and Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.


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Enmeshed Parenting – The Codependent Parent – Emofreetherapy

Parenting blurred boundaries • children of codependent parents • codependency • Codependent parenting • codependent parents • enmeshed parent-child relationship • unrealistic expectations • victim mentality By Puja 0 Comments

Codependency is a ‘relationship addiction’, often seen in parent-child relationships. We can often confuse narcissistic parents with codependent parents. But there are differences. Of course a narcissistic parent raises a codependent child who often attracts narcissistic partners, but that’s a topic for another day.

The difference lies in the degree of control they exert over the children. They also differ in terms of empathy. Codependents have empathy while the narcissistic parents don’t. Often there are overlapping features/traits between codependent parents and narcissistic parents and you will see that in this article.

Who is a Codependent Parent? 

I often speak to clients who have codependent parents. A codependent parent-child relationship is an enmeshed relationship where the boundaries are blurred. Children of codependent parents have a tough time coming out of these enmeshed relationships.
Before I go further, it is important to distinguish between codependent and interdependent relationships.

“Having dependency needs isn’t by itself unhealthy. We all have them. In an interdependent relationship, however, each party is able to comfortably rely on the other for help, understanding, and support. It’s a “value added” kind of thing. The relationship contributes to both individuals’ resilience, resourcefulness, and inner strength. All the same, each party remains self-sufficient and self-determining.” 1
On the other hand a codependent relationship depletes the individual’s resilience, resourcefulness and strength.

In this article I am going to highlight some of the significant characteristics of codependent parents and the impact this has on the children. I will be using brief examples from multiple real life client cases.

1) Child’s welfare vs. Motivated by one’s own interest

In a normal parent-child relationship, the nurturing that the parent gives to the child comes naturally and is influenced by the parent’s desire for the child’s welfare. It is normal for a parent to have aspirations and expectations from the child but in a codependent relationship, it’s more about the parent, what they want, than the child’s genuine needs. Even though the codependent parent thinks whatever they are doing is for the children’s welfare, they fail to see how much of those decisions are based on keeping the child in their control and overly dependent on them.

2) Healthy discussion vs. I’m always right

A Codependent parent is always right. There is no space for a healthy debate or discussion with their children. The children aren’t allowed to express their opinions if those opinions aren’t similar to those of their codependent parents. Any difference of opinion will be seen as an act of rebellion and squashed at the earliest, through subtle manipulation. In the end the codependent parent makes sure that the child’s opinion changes to fit their own opinion.

3) Child’s needs given importance vs. treated as insignificant

The codependent parent has difficulty in understanding the child’s needs. Children of codependent parents repeatedly get the message that their needs and wants are secondary  to their parent’s needs, and hence they stop valuing their own needs. And if they try to assert they are given silent treatment (not being spoken to) or physically punished (spanking).

4) Doing self-work vs. Victim mentality

Codependent parents blame everyone for their problems and take no responsibility for their actions. They refuse to work on themselves and resolve past traumas, instead dumping all their unresolved emotions on their children. They always act like a victim in front of their children. Many a times they share their victim stories with their children to garner  sympathy. They often expect their children to right the wrongs in their past and even blame them if they aren’t able to fulfill these unrealistic expectations.

Sometimes the parent even ends up playing the role of a frail and weak person who needs protection and parenting by the child. One client remembered her mother’s behaviour with bewilderment and resentment, and said, “I don’t understand how she could do this? How could she burden me with her stories? Only her needs were important, what about mine? I couldn’t be a child in that relationship, I had to be a parent to my mother.”

5) Genuine understanding of the child’s feelings vs. making it all about themselves

In a healthy child–parent relationship, parents allow their children to express all their emotions, even their disappointment, anger, hurt etc with the parent and they seek to understand the child’s emotions and genuinely apologize when they have hurt their children. A codependent parent makes everything about themselves. Children of codependent parents often say that their emotions were hurled back at them when they expressed them; the parent turned their emotions around and made it about themselves. For example if a teenager says, “ I am angry with you”, the parent repeats it by saying, “I am angry with you too” . A client said that whenever she called out on her mother’s behaviour, the mother became defensive and angry and said that the daughter didn’t care for her, how rude she was and was this the way to talk to her mother etc. She would start crying when her adult daughter brought this up; till date the daughter feels unheard and misunderstood.

6) Being responsible for one’s own happiness vs. Making the child responsible for the parent’s happiness

Children of codependent parents grow up feeling immensely responsible for their parents’ happiness. They were somehow made to feel that they had to keep pleasing their parent to keep them happy.

7) Healthy self-regulation vs. Rapid mood swings

The codependent parent cannot manage their own emotions; they have difficulty in self-regulation. They vacillate between extreme show of affection and sudden angry outbursts. They cannot handle or cope with any kind of stress and usually have rapid mood swings.

8) Authentic relationship with the child vs. Emotional manipulation

A codependent parent is emotionally manipulative. They will manipulate subtly to get their point across by using guilt as a weapon. They are skilled in taking their child on a guilt trip (“If you do this…., I will not love you anymore”) or threatening them with abandonment. (“If you don’t do this, I will leave you”) This trait is present in narcissistic parents in a higher degree.

9) Healthy protectiveness vs. Unhealthy control

A codependent parent wants control; they play different roles to get an obsessive love and devotion from the child. When children are young, their growing demands for individuality are squashed by either playing the victim card, by being aggressive, giving a silent treatment, or making them feel guilty. A codependent parent has many tricks up their sleeves to keep the child in control. (This is more common in parents with narcissistic traits)

10) Accepting one’s flaws vs. I’m perfect

Although everyone would like to think that they are the best parents, normally parents have a healthy understanding of their own behaviour and are open to changing their behaviour when needed. However, a codependent parent is miraculously blind to their own faults. They don’t take responsibility for their actions; can never believe that the child is hurt because of them. It’s always someone else’s fault.

11) Active listening vs. Never listening

A codependent parent never listens. Adult children of codependent parents (post 30s) realize that they were treated unfairly, they were unheard, visible to the parent only when the parent needed them for their own reasons. Grown up children of codependent parents often say that they were held responsible for bizarre matters that didn’t even make any sense as the parent never listened to their side of the story. For example, a client’s father wanted him to take on the financial burden of his business when he was a teenager. And when he couldn’t handle it, he was blamed for not helping.

12) Healthy expectations vs. Unrealistic expectations: Codependent parents have unrealistic expectations from their children. They expect their adult children to drop everything for them. They are expected to ‘always’ be there for them. While it is healthy to expect support and kindness from your children, thinking that they only exist for you is a sign of selfishness. (this is more common in parents with narcissistic personality disorder)

Some Effects on children ( Will write more in another blog post)
1) They get the feeling that their needs and wants aren’t important.
2) They are plagued by guilt and anxiety.
3) As an adult, they feel that they had to take on adult responsibilities at a young age; behave like a mini-adults.
4) Feeling overly responsible for their parent’s moods and needs.
5) They feel like they are walking on egg shells.
6) They constantly try to appease the codependent parent.
7) As grownups , they tend to be clingy in relationships, although they might also take up the role of a savior for others.

Conclusion: The worst part is that a codependent parent reading this article will think that they are not codependent. They aren’t aware of the way they behave as they think that enmeshment is a healthy parent-child relationship! However, if they are willing to recognize these signs, they can get into psychotherapy and bring about positive changes. They don’t lack empathy unlike the parents with narcissistic personality disorder, which will be the next blog post. Stay tuned!



Image redrawn from the original image found on this page:

90,000 The narcissistic mother considers her adult daughter to be her property. Narcissistic spectrum: determining the severity of the disease

In the eyes of outsiders, narcissistic parents are very courtesy and will charm anyone in a couple of minutes. But at home, loved ones are constantly terrorized for not living up to their lofty expectations. Narcissistic experts Wendy Bihari and Craig Malkin talk about the consequences of this parenting style and offer advice to grown children.

Narcissistic personality disorder is recognized as a mental disorder. These people have an inflated sense of self-worth and base their identity on the praise and approval of others. Their close relationship is superficial and focuses mostly on how they are treated. By themselves, partners and friends are not interesting to them. Narcissists believe that they are better than others, but they also experience a sense of shame when they are criticized or when they get into trouble.

The interests and desires of the narcissistic parent control the life of the whole family

Less than one percent of the population can be considered "clinical" narcissists. Between 2 and 16 percent of people who see psychotherapists at the urging of partners or colleagues have symptoms of a narcissistic disorder. Although symptoms can vary depending on many factors, Wendy Bihari and Craig Malkin believe that there are a few commonalities in the personalities of adult children raised by these types of adults.

1. It is difficult for you to make yourself known

The interests and desires of such a parent dominate the life of the whole family. Because of this, children deliberately oppose themselves to others and try to defend their position at all costs. But more often they act like their needs don't matter. They allow others to disregard their desires and feelings because they are not aware of their needs and do not know how to express them.

"They can't say 'I insist' or 'I have a say' because that's how a narcissistic parent behaved," explains psychotherapist Wendy Bihari. And in the subconscious of a grown child, there is nothing more frightening than his figure ... What to do about it: learn as much as possible about narcissism. This way you can identify and eliminate dysfunctional attitudes from childhood.

2. You copy a parent's behavior in many ways

Some children find that the only way to avoid ridicule and humiliation is to become a narcissistic parent themselves. Over time, they develop an aggressive style of behavior based on the fear that any weakness they have will be severely punished and that the best defense is an attack.

Narcissists have difficulty setting personal boundaries and see children as extensions of themselves

Strong-willed children with pronounced extraversion themselves learn the narcissistic style of play. Insults and unflattering words addressed to someone else becomes their survival tactic,” explains Craig Malkin. At the same time, in the future, in communication with loved ones, they block feelings, so as not to seem weak and vulnerable. What to do about it: Seek a professional to help you break aggressive behavior patterns, especially if your partner and/or children are suffering from them.

3. You resent your brother or sister

Narcissists have difficulty setting personal boundaries and see children as extensions of themselves. In families with several children, one usually acts as a mirror for the best qualities of the parent. He gets more attention, support and admiration, but the demand from him is huge. The other child becomes a scapegoat and "the shame of the family". He doesn’t fit the “pet” either, so you can’t expect anything from him. Both projections reflect different sides of the narcissistic personality and pit children against each other, offering them different models of an unhappy childhood.

What to do about it

Share this information with a brother or sister. If you went to the "favorites", you can still harbor a grudge against them, because the brother / sister was subjected to much less pressure. If you were a “rejected child”, perhaps you are still worried about the fact that all the best was unfairly given to a “beloved” son or daughter.

Narcissists intentionally set people off for their own purposes. Their children may find that there is more to them than blood ties. As hostages who endure hard times together, they can become unusually close as adults.

About the experts

Wendy Bihari - psychotherapist, founder of the Center for Cognitive Therapy in New Jersey.

Craig Malkin is a psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School.

I have one reader, and now, probably, already a pen pal. Dasha got into the narcissistic theme with her head. Digging very deep. Not from a good life, of course. Behind him are four years of “love” with a narcissist and a strong-willed break in contact a year ago.

Dasha Narcissus was married and had a six-year-old son. In which he did not cherish the soul and with whom he was practically inseparable. And this love of children of Victor - very conspicuous and excessive - has always been a mystery to Dasha. Now, having driven into the topic, she clicked this riddle like a nut. I am posting with her consent.

Dasha writes:

“What is the image of most “normal” fathers? A rare father goes to parent meetings, dangles with a child in hospitals and clinics. Together with my wife - yes, but alone ...

One day Victor called the doctor in my presence. And I did not understand then for whom it was a performance. For me or for the doctor. But, rather, for himself. I had no idea about daffodils then, but I remember that scene and my reaction very clearly. After all, everything abnormal crashes into memory. Abnormal - not real, artificial.

So, I went nuts. But not from what Victor is a mega-caring father, but precisely from the fact that there is some kind of implausibility in this. Reaction and behavior over the edge. I don't behave like that. I am a woman, by nature more emotional!

His son had a common sore. SARS and not even a terrible SARS. But Victor's voice has already changed. He gave it a fawning, acutely emotional tone with a flurry of speech expressing nervousness, impatience and very, very excitement. He constantly asked the doctor again, excitingly pedaling the theme of worries and cares with his voice.

I am a mother. I am a loving mother. And of course, I worry about my child, sometimes I even despair, but this despair is proportionate. They could not detect an infectious disease in my daughter, and we were ill for a whole month with a temperature, and before that we had severe otitis media with a temperature below 40. In short, my reaction to my daughter's illness was caused by exhaustion and despair. And these manifestations were proportionate. It's just that the reasons are different.

Listening to Victor's conversation with the doctor, I involuntarily asked myself the question: am I not loving my child so much? Or is someone trying to show excessive care to the point of overacting? When we are sick, I calmly listen to the doctor, in a calm voice I clarify incomprehensible moments and at the same time I do not accompany it all with bouncing on an armchair, gesticulating, grabbing and twisting hair and other neurotic manifestations. No. Everything is reasonably laid out on the shelves, the whole plan of action.

And I realized that role - an excellent dad - this is also a source of nourishment for a narcissist. The fact that he is a wonderful father is recognized by his wife, hated mother-in-law and, of course, by his parents. For the time being, I acknowledged this. Recognized by teachers and educators. Colleagues of Victor. Friends and everyone who sees this performance. Imagine what a powerful source of narcissistic resource! A person molds a false image of a mega-dad - and from all sides receives not only approval, but also admiration.

But do you think he is really interested in his son's personality? Nothing. Do you think he reads, talks, plays with him? No. He just drags it everywhere with him: shopping, restaurants. Not on playgrounds! That is, Victor lives his life and goes about his business, and the child is just next to him as a free application. That is, life is obvious not for the child and the child's interests (as it is served to others), but for one's own.

Viktor lives with his own interests and only with adults. But at least they buck up periodically, because they fall into his disfavor. And only a child can not oppose anything to this. Only a child cannot buck. If only his dad was by his side. He still does not know how to filter and distinguish sincere feelings. And next to such a dad will not learn. He has no other example.

His son is unsociable. Unable to communicate with peers. It is hard for him in a new society, like his dad, because dad is full of complexes. But soon he will learn to put on a charming smile, as his dad learned over time, and he will be just like dad.

Does Victor realize that he is playing the role of a miracle dad? Yes and no. As Sam Vaknin writes, the narcissist's false self mimics the true self. The mechanism is called reinterpretation.

“It forces the narcissist to interpret certain emotions and reactions in a flattering, socially acceptable light. A narcissist may, for example, interpret fear as compassion. If the narcissist has hurt someone they fear (such as an authority figure), they may feel bad afterwards, but interpret that discomfort as empathy and compassion. To be afraid is humiliating; compassion is commendable, it deserves public approval and understanding, from which the narcissist draws a resource.
Very often narcissism is a kind of family curse. Passed down from generation to generation. The child is left with hope for at least a modicum of spiritual health, if one of the parents or other significant figures is not a narcissist. In other cases...

The child is a powerful source of narcissistic resource. He, like no other, feeds the narcissist with unconditional love and complete dependence. Sam Vaknin writes about how a narcissist molds her child to look like herself:

“The narcissistic woman struggles to preserve her most reliable source of resource - her children. Through insidious indoctrination, guilt formation, emotional extortion, deprivation, and other psychological mechanisms, she tries to impute to them an addiction that cannot be easily extricated from.

Another reader tells about the excesses of such a narcissistic mother:
“On the playground I met Albina, who is raising five-year-old Arseniy alone. From an early age, crowds of tutors go to this unfortunate child, they take him to five sections and ten circles. The child is very nervous, arrogant, unfriendly to other children. Albina laughingly told how he attacks tutors with his fists, driving them out of the apartment. And recently, Senya was hysterical and squealed: "Mom, I hate you."

At one time Albina tried to set the tone among mothers. She told us that we are irresponsible mothers, and since our children cannot read and play the violin at the age of two, we let them go, and they will grow up as cattle and beggars, but her Senya will go to the Sorbonne and ascend to the heights of life. Clearly, no one is interested in the desires and personality of Senya. Albina sees him like this - period.

Now you understand: what looks like holy parental love is often a pathological merging of a narcissistic parent with a defenseless child and using him for his own purposes . Such people may be very interested in procreation. For example, one of Victor's favorite topics is "two more, or better three children." Still would. Soon his son will grow up and cease to be such an inexhaustible, such an uncomplaining dealer of narcissistic resources. But this will be only a partial liberation...

An unhealthy bond will bind the narcissist to his parents all his life. That's where forty-year-old boys come from, living with their mothers and calling them back several times a day. Or breaking down in the middle of the night for a bottle of her favorite wine for her, when the wife needs to be taken to the hospital ...

The problem of children of narcissistic mothers is serious. The 50s and 60s of the 20th century brought a lot of narcissistic personalities. I have not seen any research on this topic, but it seems to me that the Soviet state, which treats the individual as a screw, saw only blanks for screws in growing children. But, no matter how it happens, the fact remains. There are enough narcissists among that generation.

I already wrote about narcissistic mothers in a previous article. There was also about relationships, and about the fact that a child is property and a tool for such a mother, which for many years deforms the psyche of her child.

The only thing I said in passing then was the constant maintenance of a pathological emotional connection with my already grown child. Despite the fact that the relationship can be completely involved in various types of violence, the child is firmly attached to the mother and remains near her, despite the fact that the parent continues to bully him and spoil his life in every possible way.

Well, of course, no one ties anyone to the battery. The child seems to be by himself, of his own free will, remains nearby. He is in a constant attempt to tear off varying degrees of strength, or chained to his mother by the confidence in his worthlessness, hopelessness, powerlessness in front of life. And of course, with a sense of guilt - I can’t leave my mother and move to a neighboring house, because my mother raised-fed-nights-did not sleep.

The mother does not necessarily look like a real rampaging monster. Still, such cases are not encouraged in society, therefore, in general, they are avoided by parents. It is important for them to look good in the eyes of others.

It will be about the fact that the mother loves the child, but too much. It is through love that her power over a grown child is realized, as over property. Property sometimes bucks and covert violence is used against it

This connection is difficult to break, primarily because the child himself believes that someone has the right to own him. It cannot be otherwise.

A mother has the right to do whatever she wants, because she is a mother and a very good person. And this confidence that it is possible and even necessary to be the property of a good person, because I must be needed and useful to someone, destroys, first of all, the life of such a grown child with his partner. Normal people don't need tool partners, and other narcissists often need tools. The latter does not add color to life.

I won't paint, I'll write a list of what this love-property looks like.

1. There should be no secrets between mother and child. If a mother suspects that a 30-year-old daughter is “not telling” something from her life, at least some detail, she sets up a scene “you don’t trust me!”.

Children often, when meeting with their mother, experience anxiety in advance that they will have to tell everything, because if you do not tell, then mother will pull out information with pincers.

2. However, often children, more often daughters, mother, spread everything themselves, down to the smallest detail. "Mom and I don't have secrets." The fact that the relationship is close is fine, but a person should have a piece of life that belongs only to him.

At the same time, frankness can end badly for the child. The mother criticizes, begins to actively interfere in everything, gets a reason to control. But the children still continue to tell their secrets.

3. Mom is usually not at all embarrassed to stick her nose where she pleases. For her, there are no boundaries in the personal life of an adult child. She loves him and wants the best.

Likes to talk to the child later on this topic. "I found a note in your desk, enclosed in a book. 'Vasya 3 o'clock'. Who is Vasya, and what are you going to do with him?"

4. In marriage or in a relationship, for the child of such a parent, the mother is always more important than the partner. The partner can immediately be neglected, no matter what the situation is.

They can leave their wife with contractions at home, because mom needs to bring cigarettes (it's raining outside, she won't go to the kiosk in the rain).

They listen very much to the mother's opinion, what should be done in marriage, what relationships to build, what to say to a partner, what to demand and how to resolve conflicts. After disagreements, the child of such a mother contacts the parent (often calls by phone) and tells in detail what happened.

In general, the mother in marriage becomes the 3rd person, through which all relationships in the couple are refracted. If the partner demands protection from the encroachments of the mother-in-law or mother-in-law on the life of the couple, the problem is usually hushed up. A grown child does not want to solve it.

5. Mom seems to constantly depend on her children in everything, although in fact, she is quite cheerful, healthy and capable. She constantly insists that the children break off from vacation, leave work, abandon their plans, because right now, at this moment, she needs their help. (You need to get jar lids from the mezzanine. Yes, right now, she can’t wait until her son’s meeting is over. Her jam is boiling).

You can't leave her, even on Saturday-Sunday for barbecue. She is healthy, feels great, what if something happens at night? Go on vacation for 5 days? All 5 days the conscience will torment, but what about mom?

The beginning of an independent life is a betrayal, therefore it is better not to meet with anyone, or to meet in such a way that mother does not know.

6. In such families there are specific rules:

  • If you get a call, please explain: who said what and why they called.
  • All rooms must have doors open. If suddenly an adult child closes the door, then he is hiding something.
  • The family should know about all friends and acquaintances. If someone comes to visit an adult child, then the mother should be present during the conversation, or even speak with the guest herself. Ask him all sorts of tricky questions, checking whether this person is a good one?
  • About everything you need to ask your mother's advice, and not just formally. You need to listen to advice and do better as mom said, otherwise resentment and scandal (you don’t trust me that I did something bad to you, I wished you well)
  • Holidays are celebrated only together. No options. If you want to meet someone else, you are a damned traitor and you don’t love your mother (everything, you don’t need mom?)

Anyway, here is food for thought.

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Neurotic personality: thirst for attention, approval, praise "It's hard for an adult. It's normal for a breastfed baby to feel the need for attention and care."

Not every narcissistic mother lives up to the hype-filled image of the boastful and vain movie star graciously allowing, "Perhaps I'm ready for the close-up."

Because women are brought up to appear accommodating and put their own needs aside, a variety of behaviors can underlie narcissistic personality disorder.

The narcissistic mother is often misleadingly portrayed as an overprotective parent, a neat and quiet Sunday school teacher, or a long-suffering martyr who seemed to live for her children.

But don't be fooled.

The behavior of many narcissistic mothers is characterized by a number of hidden signs.

Here are the five most common signs of a narcissistic mother:

1. You shouldn't give her any trouble.

When you have difficulties, she lashes out with criticism and questions. You broke the cardinal rule, because your only goal is to help her look and feel good.

If you break this rule, you will pay with your self-esteem. Life is a performance.

Sadly, it's about you defining her image as a mother, not about supporting you as a daughter.

Subtext: The narcissistic mother is on a diet of self-importance. You need to feed her self-esteem, and not vice versa.

2. She obliges you when she gives you gifts.

By giving you gifts, she makes you feel obligated. The narcissistic mother feels so empty that she cannot give without receiving anything in return.

She may ask you to return the gift to her or insist that you buy her. She demands offerings instead of gratefully accepting the gift you chose for her.

The narcissistic mother cannot receive passively, that would mean relinquishing control.

Subtext: “You are not free to choose what to give me. This would mean that we are equal. This is not true. I will decide what to give and what to receive.

3. You serve her needs.

When something happens in your life and you are unable to take care of her immediately, the narcissistic mother becomes offended and feels offended.

Subtext: her needs come first.

4. When you ask her about something or ask for an explanation, she immediately becomes defensive and attacks you.

The typical narcissistic mother often responds with exaggerated apologies like: "I'm extremely sorry and I ask your forgiveness for everything in the world that I could have offended you!" Still, she was only trying to help.

This step is intended to put the blame on you. She protects the emptiness within herself.

Subtext: You should report to her, not the other way around.

5. She doesn't respect your boundaries or your privacy.

The narcissistic mother cares about everything that happens. Asking her to tell her the news is more like a demand than an exchange based on respect for other people's boundaries. You are under pressure when you try to draw the line.

Subtext: "your deeds are my deeds."

You feel like a thing, not a beloved daughter.

The manipulative steps of narcissistic mothers are much less obvious than the boorish actions of narcissistic men. They are no less destructive, just harder to spot. The damage they cause is even worse because of the insidious nature of the wounds. After getting scratched with a sharp razor, you often don't know you've cut yourself until you notice the blood flowing.

Being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, you often feel ashamed, but think it's your fault, not hers. Shame makes you doubt yourself.

Bogged down in a sea of ​​doubt, you don't see what lies behind these steps - a mother's desperate attempt to build self-esteem at your expense.

By beginning to notice hidden traits in the behavior of the narcissistic mother, you are taking the first step towards healing.

Narcissistic parents have a peculiarity: they do not contribute to the upbringing of adequate children, do not create conditions for the development of the child as an independent self-sufficient person.

Narcissistic mothers affect both sons and daughters. The latter “get” more, because they see competitors in their daughters.

Even before the birth of the child, the narcissistic mother believes that the child will be the best, provided for in the best possible way, and such confidence is based on arrogance.

The existence of a child is not considered from the point of view of the child itself, motherhood - this is how a woman protects her unstable self. The child is not treated as a person, and she treats him accordingly. The child is part of the narcissist, or part of the environment.

Consider everything from the very beginning.

The time has come, and the narcissistic mother must have something strange - the birth of a child. For the first time, the mother gets stuck during pregnancy, in the fourth or fifth month, pregnancy manifests itself in various ways, and the narcissistic mother feels discomfort, while blaming the whole world for this, claims and accusations begin against the child that has not yet been born and the childbirth that cannot be avoided . Even before pregnancy, the narcissist considered adoption or surrogacy to avoid discomfort, but such a child is not ideal due to bad genetics, bad influences (a surrogate mother can get sick during pregnancy). Therefore, it does not inspire confidence. Then thoughts arise that you can go for an abortion, or resort to artificial childbirth, but this is also excluded, because there is little good in this, and I want to hit the world that I gave birth myself!

In the future, this past period will be characterized by ballads telling their child about an abortion that was not done, an artificial birth…

Narcissistic mothers most often want to give birth to a son. Daughters are treated like second class. The son is the future president, the ruler of the galaxy. Women are rarely required for such activities.

Thoughts come that the daughter is a future bitch, a prostitute, a freeloader, the mother will only be exhausted with her. Some go to get rid of a child who has an unnecessary gender. Others may develop negative feelings for their daughter even before she was born. The key point is not that the mother wants a boy to be born, but the hatred of her daughter before birth, the recognition of her failure in life because of her existence.

Such women often have difficult childbirth, which is influenced by psychological reasons. The birth itself is protesting. A woman will always remain dissatisfied, no matter what the process of childbirth is: paid, free, through an acquaintance or without it.

A child has appeared. This is where problems appear. He is a living being, though dependent on his mother, however, separate. The narcissistic mother is not able to understand his needs, does not understand them.

Narcissus is able to endure the period of caring for a child, and in the future will consider him his own feat. The narcissist mother, of course, is experiencing difficulties, it is hard for her. It’s good if she manages to fuse a child who is at an inconvenient age for her, grandma, grandpa. And later, when problematic situations arise, there will be those who are chronically to blame.

If the child has nowhere to go, he will cause constant irritation to the mother. The daughter in her eyes will always look stupid, clumsy, unlucky, etc.

There may be no boundaries between mother and child that are not differentiated by the mother. In this case, the mother will begin to solve many issues: go everywhere with her daughter, shop for clothes, toys, etc. If she liked something, then the daughter will approve it, in other words, the child does not have his own desires and opinions.

However, there is another option, mother and daughter may be separated by a wall. Then the mother simply forgets about the child: birthdays are not celebrated, clothes are not bought, even the child is not taken away from school.

These two types ignore children's problems. The first type doesn't know there is a problem (I have no problem why a child should have one). The second type does not want to know about the existence of the problem.

When a child passes into adolescence, the mother of the first type gets involved in the daughter's affairs, relationships, and does not allow her to solve any issues on her own. Daughter's independence is suppressed.

The second type gives the daughter a lot of freedom. True, if she deviates from accepted norms, cruel punishment and retribution for her labors will follow (after all, I gave birth to you!).

The adult life of children whose mothers are narcissists is characterized by a difficult relationship between mother and daughter. A mother with no boundaries gives her daughter in marriage. Family life takes place with the participation of the daughter, her husband, mother. The mother strives to ensure that her daughter is next to her, for which she is engaged in rocking the relationship between her daughter and her husband. When the husband is self-confident, the mother is able to lead the marriage to divorce.

If the mother has no contact with her daughter, the mother starts using the daughter. For example, a daughter should be shared with her, supported. She didn't have an abortion!

If a daughter has an unsuccessful life, her mother will constantly remind her of this. And still, at least something will be taken.

In any case, the mother will consider her daughter imperfect (only she belongs to the only higher being). Therefore, recognition from the daughter will not work. She is not interested in her daughter's problems, they are considered nonsense. Interest can cause problems that will help recognize the daughter as an unfortunate woman, a “complete fool”.

The ideal, which is always present, usually includes a neighbor, relative, classmate, with whom they compare their child (not in his favor). And, of course, comparisons with yourself will follow.

The mother is the best, more important, she has the most urgent and significant problems, her interests are the most important. When the daughter has achieved some kind of success, the mother will let her know that she had a much larger number of suitors, job offers, etc. in the same period. Or it could be, only the presence of an ugly child interfered.

When a daughter thinks too much about herself, the mother will find a way to "lower" her. She can use direct insults, affectionate reproaches, reminders, tactless remarks.

If a daughter argues, defends herself, or even sends her mother away, she will make her feel like a bastard, upsetting her mother. A mother knows how to approach her own child. Therefore, when the daughter tries to get away from the conflict, everything will end with the fact that she will feel like a “bad girl”, and she may have to ask for forgiveness.

Daughters with a successful life can spend millions on their mothers, and on all sorts of nonsense. They are not going to return them in advance, because the child is obliged. When the child tries to return the funds, the mother goes into a narcissistic frenzy, saying she has merit.

When persistently demanding money, the mother goes very far: she spreads rumors about her daughter, hires bandits, calls a psychiatric team, appeals to the prosecutor's office.

Under these conditions, the mother is as unhappy as her daughter. From birth, a daughter stays with her mother, who, like clay, fashions a support for her own deformed personality out of her. But the child is a different being, using its own laws in development. And therefore, in order not to allow herself to collapse, the mother corrects her own consciousness, even if the consciousness protests.

Narcissistic mothers do not bring mental health, a peaceful existence to their daughters. Having a narcissistic mother is an eternal battle for a daughter. To normalize their own lives, such daughters need to do a lot of work.

We need the formation of one's personality, where the mother is not present, the realization that childhood has passed. Mom will have a terrible resistance, and it will not be easy. All this needs to be digested. From what could not be digested, it is better to get rid of. You need to leave that which can nourish life. There is always something like that, even in a terrible, traumatic childhood.

If your parent is a narcissist


Human among humans

It's better to love a narcissist from a distance, especially if it's your parent. Julia Al Hall, author of a blog dedicated to this problem, is convinced of this: “Recognizing that one or both parents are narcissists is a long and painful journey. This is because even grown children continue to dream of love and approval.

The healthiest choice is to cut off all contact with your parents, or communicate with them as little as possible. “Creating distance between your parents and you means that you have parted with the illusion that they can change,” explains Julia L Hall.

Here are some tips to help keep contact with narcissistic parents to a minimum.

1. Realize that health and well-being are most important

As a child, you did everything possible to please your parents, believing that your interests were secondary. It's time to change priorities. “It's important to set boundaries,” says Julia L Hall. “I decided to nullify communication with my parents only when I became seriously ill.” Once bedridden, Julia realized that she could no longer endure the stress that her mother had been the source of.

Today her relationship with her mother is much better. “We didn’t communicate for two years, but then I took my mother to me - she had cancer, and I had to take care of her. But I set boundaries that weren't discussed, and she even learned to communicate with my daughter."

2. Learn to detach and set boundaries

If you want to be free and independent from your parents, you must learn to detach and not react to their behavior. Set healthy boundaries: communicate via email or short phone calls, says psychotherapist Linda Martinez-Lewie, author of Living with a Narcissist: Treatment and Recovery.

State your position without pretensions or accusations, then stick to the boundaries you set.

“E-mail communication should be limited to superficial topics. If a parent continues to terrorize an adult child, it may be time to cut contact completely, although this is not an easy decision,” Linda shares.

3. Do not enter into a confrontation

It is useless to complain and show a list of parental mistakes - he does not accept criticism. This can only make the situation worse.

“Narcissists are not aware of responsibility to other people and are incapable of empathy, so confrontation will bring you more pain, frustration and anger. State your position without pretensions or accusations, and then firmly stick to the boundaries you set,” advises Caryl McBride, family therapist, author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing Daughters from Narcissistic Mothers.

4. Be prepared for the fact that the parent will not agree to a break in communication

These parents usually do not see the child as a separate individual with unique needs and may act aggressively to continue to control the child's life.

“Setting boundaries means respecting yourself. It’s a slow process that involves the ability to identify your needs, realize that they are important, and learn how to defend them,” says Darlene Lanser, family therapist, author of the book “How to overcome shame and codependency: 8 steps to freeing the real you.”

5. Don't blame yourself for the way the relationship worked out.

Children of narcissists often feel guilty about being manipulated by their parents. But you are an adult, and it's time for you to understand that it's all about the behavior of your parents. It makes you move away from them.

“Narcissistic parents know how to shed a tear as soon as the children talk about their needs, and do everything to make the children feel guilty. Until you realize your own innocence, you will allow them to interfere in your life, ”says psychologist Fred Malkin, author of the book Rethinking Narcissism.

Relationships with such parents defy normal logic.

Learn more