How Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Struggle to Become Adult Women In Their Own Right (Part 1 and 2) – PsychCentral.com

Posted: April 26, 2020 at 3:52 am

There are certain milestones a woman never forgets. Her first kiss. The day she lost her virginity. Her first menstrual period. The day she became A Woman.

I remember my first period with a shudder becomes of one unhappy detail: I was wearing mens underwear when it happened. It was my mother who forced me to wear mens boxers against my furious protests. What should have been a beautiful feminine moment was warped because I was unhappily wearing ugly, blue, mens boxer shorts that I hated.

I reference that story because it perfectly illustrates the struggle the daughter of a narcissistic mother undergoes to achieve adulthood and womanhood with Mom fighting her, tooth-and-nail, every step of the way.

Your Narcissistic Mother is The Woman.

Youre justfemale.

No matter how experienced, how successful, how old, how wrinkled you become, she is The Woman. Mother Superior. She will never look you in the eye, grasp your hand and acknowledge you as an equal nor as an adult nor as an Equal Adult Woman.

My grandmother never acknowledged my mother as her equal. My mother never acknowledged me as her equal. They both demanded the role of superior female dominating the inferior female and succeeded.

Take motherhood out of the equation. View the quagmire in which youre mired as just two unrelated women. When you take the Cult of Motherhood out of scenario, woman-on-woman abuse will make your stomach churn.

Your mother set the agenda for you before you were born. Some of you ladies were pigeonholed as your mothers scapegoat. Other daughters were born to give their mothers the vicarious life she always dreamed of living.

Some of you were designated to be your mothers covert incest pseudo-spouse. Like me, you were forced to spoon with your mother, to submit to having her wash your genitals when you were old enough to do it for yourself and to have no privacy and no lock on your bedroom door. She waltzed in and out of the most private areas of your life, irregardless of your age. My mother was the first person to touch my breast. I was fifteen years old.

I was assigned the role of Mothers Friend. She wasnt much good at making or keeping friends, so she gave birth to her lifelong friend, just as her mother had done before her.

I was my mothers only friend and, for much of my life, she was my only friend. She made sure of that. It only took a hint or two and I would kick my girlfriends to the curb to please my mother and avoid shaming, censure and furious pouting. Love-bombing will make you do that.

But it was friendship with a twist: she called the shots. This friend could destroy me for the smallest infraction, real or imagined, of her rules.

A controlling mother can be understood. A controlling friendship can be terminated. But when Control, Friendship and Motherhood are combined it forms a toxic mixture from which a good daughter cannot escape.

Because of this cringeworthy experience, I can never have a female friend. The very thought makes me want to vomit. I am terrified of women, especially those older than me.

Your mother isnt just The Woman. Actually, she owns you: heart, soul, body, relationships, sexuality, financeseverything.

Oh! You think I meant that symbolically? Hyperbolically?

Honey, I mean it literally. Practically. Exactly as written.

You do not belong to yourself. You belong to your Narcissistic Mother.

If you have it, she owns it. It is herslock, stock and barrel. She may dole out a facet of yourself to youtemporarily. But she can snatch it back at any moment, for any reasonor none at all. Youre merely a marionette dancing while she pulls your strings.

This godlike status was instilled in me from babyhood. If I was naughty, I went flying to my mother to confess and be forgiven. She demanded I narc on myself which I faithfully did, regardless of how much she would yell at me before pronouncing unto me the Forgiveness of Mother. With her seeming ability to look into my soul and ferret out sin (real, projected or imagined), she owned my soul, my spirituality, my Eternal Fate.

Growing up changesbupkis. You may be an adult woman numerically but your mother still controls everything.She decides when and if you can have privacy when youre bathing or dressing (you cant.) She controls if you can shave and exactly which parts of yourself youre allowed to shave. She controls your hair, makeup, nail color. She dictates what style of shoes and clothes you may wear. (You cant have that. It looks too good on you.) She may confiscate your make-up, your nail clipper or forbid you from touching your own face, as my parents did.

She will hold up your mail to the light as my Mom laughed about doing. She will demand your passwords. She will read your emails. She controls where you go, when you go, if you go and with whom you go. A good rule of thumb is that if Mom doesnt do XY, then youre not allowed to do XY either. For me, that meant things like staying out past dusk or driving freeways or moving out of Mommys home into a home of my own.

She may tell you what jobs to keep and which jobs to quit. And if youre allowed to date at all, she decides who you may go out with and when you will dump himno cogent reason required.

If you take the mother part out of this dynamic, its freaking creepy. One adult woman so completely dominating another adult woman requires strong words like violation.

Its entirely possible you may have a lovely relationship with your (engulfing) narcissistic mother as a little girl.

But when puberty hits! All Hell will break loose. You dont merely become a woman with your first menstrual period. Oh no! You become The Other Woman. A threat. The competition.

I remember when it happened for me. One day I was struggling to adjust to that fakakta training bra and the next day Mom was taking me aside and telling me that I was no longer allowed to hug my father. Hes a man and youre a woman, she said, smiling smarmily. Duggar-style hugs only, please, and if he does accidentally bump your breastswhich began to happen at puberty and became an almost daily accidental attempt in my late twentiesshe told me to always tell her. Then the victim could be angrily lectured and blamed every time I failed to protect myself.

Thus the father/daughter relationship that should never have been sexualized was sexualized by the woman who shouldve been the last person on Earth to want it to be sexualized: my mother. From then on, every time my father came near me, I seized up with paranoia, with guilt. Helluva way to live.

The onset of menstruation made it all worse. Puberty put me squarely in the crosshairs for every insane accusation Mom could dream up while Dad withdrew his love and approval of me due to my dermatillomaniathe only stress relief I had to keep me sane. I was desperate to win back his smile which only further convinced my mother that I was being inappropriate to her husband, my biological father. It was a suspicion she never quite forgot, never stopped accusing me of.

As my god, if she implied I was incestuous, I owned that shame. If she said, you have bad sexual genetics, I humbled myself and repented. She boomeranged between brightly informing me that I was sexual whether you know it or not (as if I didnt know) to accusing me of planning to find ways to flaunt myself for my father. Later, she decided that pregnancy was so dangerous and informed me she was glad I didnt have a husband. It was a wild, crazy-making ride full of implied slut-shaming.

Despite everything, like the educated idiot that I am, I worshiped the ground that woman walked on. Because her personality was so cheerful (unless crossed), her affection was so warm (clingy!) and her smile was sickly-sweet-smarmy, I trusted her implicitly. Even when she was hugging all over my new husband.

She was The Experienced Wife. I was a newbie.

She was The Woman. I was merely female.

I didnt feel right unless I had her approval. It was more cult-like than mother/daughter like.

Ive said it before and Ill say it again: theres nothing children of narcissists need more than a good old fashioned bar/bat mitzvah. The Right of Passage is intrinsic in so many cultures so why have we jettisoned it? If you were raised by narcs that line-in-the-sand signalling the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood just never happened. There was no Coming of Age. You are Never 21. You never know about the Age of Emancipation. Like me, you may have been forced to even give up attending Rites of Passage like your own graduation ceremonies.

There was never a moment when your parent looked you in the eye, grasped your hand and said, Youre my equal as an adult. Youve arrived. I respect you as an equal man/equal woman. My mother gave it lip service, Of course youre an adult but her actions screamed louder than her words.

But now Im forty. To quote Bette Davis in All About Eve:

Lloyd, Im not twentyish.I am not thirtyish. Three months ago,I was forty years old.Forty. Four oh.That slipped out, I hadnt quite made up my mindto admit it.

When my mother failed to acknowledge her only childs fortieth birthday, something went click!

I dont need my mommy anymore.

I dont believe in the godlike image of her anymore. She used your sweetness and cuteness to disguise a shitload of abuse. Frankly, when you look at it all en masse, my mother creeps the hell outta me.

I was one helluva good daughter.

She worked hard to drive me away.

Her loss. Not mine.

I dont need her.

Its time I look myself squarely in the eye, grasp my own hand (metaphorically) and say, You are an Adult Woman in your own right whether your Mommys fragile ego can stand it or not. And youre doing a helluva job running your own life. You dont need herand you havent needed her for twenty years.

There are millions of you ladies out there in the same boat. You email me. You post desperate comments. I read them all. The mother/daughter relationship is probably the most talked about relationship, the hardest to escape, the most painful to endure.

But take motherhood out of the equation. View the quagmire in which youre mired as just two unrelated women. When you take the Cult of Motherhood out of scenario, woman-on-woman abuse will make your stomach churn.

You wouldnt let a female friend treat you that way. You wouldnt tolerate it from a lesbian partner. So why are we letting our mothers violate us like this!?!

Its high time we let Mom attend to her own knittin while we attend to ours. Because thats what it was all about in reality. She positioned us to think we needed her when in reality, she believed she needed us. By sticking around were enabling her faux victimhood. The most loving thing we can do is let Mom sink or swim on her own.

As Mothers Day approaches, I challenge you to do the most bloody, horrifically painful thing Ive ever had to do: cut ties with your narcissistic mother. It flies in the face of nature, but it must be done.

Dont let another woman control you, even if she is your mother.

The rest is here:
How Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Struggle to Become Adult Women In Their Own Right (Part 1 and 2) - PsychCentral.com

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