Are you being raised or were you raised by a mother who appears to prioritise her own needs over yours? Whether she realises it or not, a narcissistic mother can do a lot of damage to her child’s self-worth and self-esteem, not to mention that many of your needs may not be met. Despite being hurt by your self-centered mother’s emotionally absent behaviour, you can overcome it and grow into a strong, caring person.
1. Recognize and mourn the loss of never having a true mother. A true mother prioritises her child’s physical and emotional needs over her own, but if you’ve ever lived with or are currently living with a narcissistic mother, her needs must come first.
Don’t bother attempting to figure out why. In some cases, your mother herself was the victim of a narcissistic parent or another type of abuse. In other cases, your mother may never have “grown up” and is unaware that there are many more people in the world than she is. In any case, you are not to blame for this situation.
Try not to think, “What if I had a better mother?” Instead, consider how you can overcome this obstacle and cherish yourself in ways she has never been able to. Wistfully imagining what might have been if you had a different mother will only make the situation worse.
Carry out the actual grieving process. You’ve finally realised that your mother isn’t going to change, and you’ve been given a mother who is only concerned with herself. Allow yourself time to grieve before moving on to healing.
2. Try not to change your mother. Perhaps you believe that if you behave better or get that big promotion at work, your mother will finally notice and be proud of you. You’ve done nothing wrong, but any act of greatness will be squandered on a narcissist.
3. Get a solid support system in place. Surround yourself with caring, loving people who genuinely care about you and your well-being, depending on your age. If you are still living at home, it could be friends, family, or a boyfriend/girlfriend. Adults can also seek help from their spouse or friends.
If you are an adult with children, do not rely on their love as a crutch. Stop yourself and redirect your emotions if you want to turn to your child when your mother is upsetting you (they can do that even in adulthood). Children will not only misinterpret what you are saying to them, but they may also become concerned that the same thing could happen to them.
If you are having difficulty finding support, speak with a trained therapist who can recommend an actual support group for children of narcissistic mothers.
4. Keep your distance from your mother. As difficult as it may sound, getting away from someone like this may be the only way to progress toward healing.
Avoid getting too close if you still live at home. When narcissistic people sense that others are withdrawing, they will often act as if they are taking interest, only to revert to their old ways once they have captivated their “audience” (you). Maintain minimal contact with your mother at home; consider her behaviour to be more of a source of amusement, nothing serious, and bearing no weight on your life.
Remove yourself from your mother’s presence. You will most likely benefit from limited contact, especially if you live in different towns or states. If talking on the phone with your mother makes you angry, only take calls when you are mentally prepared to deal with her—don’t let her catch you off guard, upsetting you and ruining your day.
Maintain a level of contact that is comfortable for you. If abandoning the relationship and never looking back is the only way to move on, do everything you can to heal. Some children, however, may feel guilty about completely letting go and may feel obligated to provide financial assistance to their narcissistic mother. After all, she is a member of your family, so allow yourself to provide for her if it is not too taxing on your spirit. However, if this is too much of a burden for you, you are under no obligation to do it. Do whatever it takes to get you out of this situation.
Instead of breaking it off completely, perhaps you could have a casual relationship. This means you can be friendly and make small talk with your mother (for example, “What’s the weather like? It’s been bitterly cold here! “), but stay away from anything more than a surface-level relationship.
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