Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Uploaded 11/19/2010, approx. 5 minute read

I am Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Today we will discuss the relationship between a narcissistic mother and her adult daughter.

What are some common ways that a mother's narcissism can affect the daughter's adult relationships?

Well, it depends on how narcissistic the mother is.

Narcissistic parents generally fail to recognize and accept the personal autonomy and the boundaries of their offspring. They treat their children as instruments of gratification or as extensions of themselves. Their love is conditioned on the performance of their children and how well they cater to the needs, wishes and priorities of the narcissistic parents.

Consequently, narcissistic parents oscillate between two modes.

The first one is clingy emotional blackmail. This they use when they seek the child's attention, adulation and compliance, collectively known as narcissistic supply.

Alternatively, they treat the child with steely devaluation and silent treatment when they wish to punish the child for refusing to toe the line. Such inconstancy, unpredictability, arbitrariness and capriciousness render the child insecure and co-dependent.

When the child grows up and enters a relationship as an adult, he feels that he has to earn each and every morsel of love, that he will be instantly and easily abandoned if he underperforms, that her primary role is to take care of her spouse, mate, partner or friend and that she is less important, less endowed, less skilled and less deserving than her significant others.

What are the top concerns?

When daughters of narcissistic mothers start relationships and their relationships move forward when their relationships end, well, children of narcissistic parents are ill-adapted, their personality is rigid and they are prone to deploy a host of psychological defense mechanisms.

Consequently, children of narcissistic parents display the same behaviors throughout their relationship from start to finish, irrespective of changing circumstances.

As adults, offspring of narcissists tend to perpetuate a pathological primary relationship with their narcissistic parents. They depend on other people for their emotional gratification and for the performance of ego or even daily functions. They are needy, demanding and submissive. They fear abandonment, cling and display immature behaviors in their effort to maintain the so-called relationship with their companion or mate upon whom they depend.

No matter what abuse is inflicted upon these children turned adults, they remain in the relationship.

By eagerly becoming victims, co-dependents seek to control their abusers.

Some children of narcissistic parents become inverted narcissists, also called covert narcissists. This is a co-dependent who depends exclusively on narcissists, a narcissist co-dependent.

If you are living with a narcissist, have a relationship with one, if you are married to one, if you are working with a narcissist etc., this does not mean that you are an inverted narcissist.

To qualify as an inverted narcissist, you must crave to be in a relationship with a narcissist, regardless of any abuse inflicted on you by him. You must actively seek relationships with narcissists and only with narcissists, no matter what your bitter and traumatic past experience has been. You must feel empty and unhappy in relationships with any other kind of person.

Only then, and if you satisfy the other diagnostic criteria of dependent personality disorder, can you safely label yourself an inverted narcissist.

So a small minority of children of narcissistic parents end up being counterdependent or even narcissists themselves.

They emulate and imitate their parents' traits and conduct. The emotions of these children of narcissists, their needs are buried under scar tissue which had formed, coalesced and hardened during years of one form or abuse or another.

So these children develop grandiosity, a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, an overwhelming and overwhelming emptiness that usually hides in knowing insecurity and a fluctuating sense of self-worth.

Counterdependence are consummations. They reject and despise authority. They are fiercely independent. They are controlling, self-centered and aggressive. They fear intimacy and they are locked into cycles of hesitant approach followed by avoidance of commitment. They are lone wolves. They are bad team players.

Counterdependents are a reaction formation.

The counterdependent dreads his own weaknesses. He seeks to overcome them by projecting an image of omnipotence, omniscience, success, self-sufficiency and superiority.

Some daughters of narcissists choose this path of coping.

How do narcissistic mothers interfere or get involved with their daughter's love or take lives? How does this compare to typical mothers?

The narcissistic mother is a control freak and does not easily relinquish a good and reliable source of narcissistic supply such as her daughter. It is the role of her children to replenish this supply.

The children, the daughter, owe it to her. To make sure that the child does not develop boundaries and does not become independent or autonomous, the narcissistic parent micromanages the child's life and encourages dependent and infantile behaviors in her offspring. Such a parent, for instance, bribes the child by offering free lodging or financial support or help with daily tasks. Such a parent emotionally blackmails the child by constantly demanding help and imposing chores, claiming to be disabled. Threatens the child, for instance, to disinherit her if she does not comply with the parent's wishes.

The narcissistic mother also does her best to scare away anyone who may have set this symbiotic relationship or otherwise threaten the delicate, unbroken, unspoken contract between the parent and daughter. Such a narcissistic mother sabotages any budding relationship that a child develops with lies, deceit, or overt scorn.

According to the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, narcissistic personality disorder is diagnosed in between 2 and 16% of the population in clinical settings, or about 1% of the general population.

The DSM proceeds to tell us that most narcissists are men, but 25 to 30% of all narcissists are women. These become narcissistic mothers, and their daughters care the consequences.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Narcissistic Parents Possessive: Envy, Destroy Their Children, Offspring

Narcissistic parents view their children as extensions of themselves and seek to control and manipulate them to fulfill their own needs. This can lead to children feeling insecure, codependent, and prone to repeating dysfunctional relationship patterns as adults. Narcissistic parents may interfere with their children's love lives and sabotage their relationships to maintain control and a constant supply of admiration and attention. The impact of narcissistic parenting can be profound and long-lasting, affecting the child's sense of self and ability to form healthy relationships.

Narcissist Father: Save Your Child

Parents who are worried about their children becoming narcissists under the influence of a narcissistic parent should stop trying to insulate their children from the other parent's influence. Instead, they should make themselves available to their children and present themselves as a non-narcissistic role model. Narcissistic parents regard their children as a source of narcissistic supply and try to control their lives through guilt-driven, dependence-driven, goal-driven, and explicit mechanisms. The child is the ultimate secondary source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissistic parent tries to perpetuate the child's dependence using control mechanisms. The narcissistic parent tends to produce another narcissist in some of their children, but this outcome can be effectively countered by loving, empathic, predictable, just, and positive upbringing, which encourages a

Narcissist: Mother Looms Large

The success or failure of a child's separation from their mother determines their personal history, autonomy, and sense of self. The mother is the benchmark against which everything in the child's future is measured. If the mother does not let go, the child does not go, and if the mother is a dependent narcissistic type, the child's growth prospects are doomed. The death of the mother is a devastating shock and a deliverance, and with the death of his mother, the narcissist embarks on a process of healing.

How to be Good (enough) Mother: Your 3 Gifts

A good enough mother exposes her child to risks, pushes her child away from her, and mediates reality for the child. A good enough mother frustrates her child by not granting them everything they wish for, which is crucial to the child's emerging perception of an external world. A narcissistic mother is never a good enough mother, as she is a control freak who does not let her children develop boundaries, become autonomous, or self-efficacious. The relationship between a narcissistic mother and her child is typically symbiotic and emotionally turbulent, with trauma bonding setting in via intermittent reinforcement and emotional blackmail.

Borderline Codependent: Clinging Child, Punitive Parent

Codependency in parents can lead to children who only receive conditional love based on their performance. This can result in a child who is objectified and treated as an extension of the parent. The child learns that to obtain affection, they must perform, leading to a lack of self-love. This can result in a psychopath, passive-aggressive personality disorder, masochistic adult, or an adult with depressive disorders. Codependents often experience extreme abandonment anxiety and swing between self-effacing and explosive behaviors due to divided loyalties between their partner and internalized parent.

Children of Narcissist: Bad Mother's Voice

There is no such thing as a purely good mother, and the bad mother is always present. The good mother is predictable, reliable, and emotionally safe, while the bad mother is considered paranoid and controlling. The good mother provides unconditional love, while the bad mother provides transactional love. The good son or daughter justifies the bad mother's behavior, while every good quality of the good mother is rendered bad by the voice of the bad mother in the minds of children of narcissists.

Narcissists and Codependents: Same Problems, Different Solutions

Codependence and narcissism are pathological reactions to childhood abuse and trauma. The codependent has a realistic assessment of herself but a fantastic view of others, while the narcissist has a fantastic view of himself but a penetrating view of others. The codependent seeks validation to restore a sense of reality, while the narcissist seeks narcissistic supply to enhance his grandiosity. Inverted narcissists are a subtype of covert narcissists who team up with classic narcissists to obtain vicarious supply. The overwhelming majority of narcissists have codependent traits and are dependent on other people for their sense of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image.

Overprotective Parents And Manipulative Helplessness

The text discusses the negative impact of overprotective parents on their children. It explains how overprotective parents prevent their children from experiencing reality, growth, and separation, leading to lifelong consequences. The text also delves into the behavior of narcissists and the dynamics of relationships between overprotective parents and their children as well as between dependent partners and primary partners. It highlights the detrimental effects of overprotection on the child's development and the perpetuation of dysfunctional behaviors in adulthood.

When the Narcissist's Parents Die

The death of a narcissist's parents can be a complicated experience. The narcissist has a mixed reaction to their passing, feeling both elation and grief. The parents are often the source of the narcissist's trauma and continue to haunt them long after they die. The death of the parents also represents a loss of a reliable source of narcissistic supply, which can lead to severe depression. Additionally, the narcissist's unfinished business with their parents can lead to unresolved conflicts and pressure that deforms their personality.

Inverted Narcissist (Narcissist Codependent)

Inverted narcissists are a type of codependent who exclusively depend on a narcissist. They are self-effacing, sensitive, emotionally fragile, and sometimes socially phobic. They derive all their self-esteem and sense of self-worth from the outside and are pathologically envious. Inverted narcissists are narcissists, and it is possible to compose a set of criteria for them by translating the criteria available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the classical narcissist.

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