A mother should be someone who loves you unconditionally. Someone who brings comfort and peace. She should be someone who you can go to with your worries and your troubles and who will make everything all better.
That isn’t the case for those of us who grew up with a narcissist for a mother.
When you have a narcissistic mother there is no unconditional love. You are constantly reminded of your failures and shortcomings. Any slight misstep and you will be informed immediately of where you’ve gone wrong. There is no letting anything go. You will spend your life hearing, nonstop, all of the things in your life she didn’t agree with or that upset her.
A narcissistic mother does not bring comfort and peace. She will tell you that you are being too sensitive. That everything is your own fault and never hers nor anyone else’s. She will tear you down and prevent you from ever having any self-esteem or confidence because you have been groomed your entire life to believe that you have no worth.
A narcissistic mother is not someone you can go to with your troubles and worries.
She will tell you that you are overreacting. That it’s all in your head. She will tell you it is your own fault. She will stomp all over your heart until you have nothing left. She will make everything about her and never let the focus be on you, whether it is good or bad.
It is a battle that doesn’t end after you become an adult. Turning 18 and moving out won’t magically fix your problems. They just shift.
Something I have learned in my almost 30 years on this earth. No amount of trying to reason with her will change who she is. No amount of trying to please her will ever be enough. No amount of pleading will ever make a difference.
And in my experience, once you have children of your own then she just has more people to mistreat and tear down.
I have tried and tried to keep my mother in my life. To let her be a part of my children’s lives. But at what cost? My own mental health and well-being? My children’s mental health and well-being?
I can handle her treating me badly. I have for my entire life.
But watching her talk down to my kids and treat them the same way she treated me . . .
Seeing the look in my daughter’s eyes when grandma calls her names and she doesn’t understand why . . .
That I can’t tolerate. That I won’t stand for.
But she’s still my mom.
Despite everything that’s happened I still love her. I still long for her to be in my life. I still wish for her approval. It is such an impossible situation to find yourself in.
How do you cut a toxic person out of your life who is in such an important role?
I still haven’t figured that out.
To all of the daughters out there who share in my story, I want to say I see you. I know what you’re going through. I understand the pain and the heartbreak you feel. A relationship with your mom should be a beautiful thing. I know the pain you feel when you see or hear others share about their loving relationship with their mom. I get it.
And I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through and the loss you’ve experienced by being raised this way. No child should ever have to grow up wondering if they are loved and if they are worthy.
No child should have to endure that kind of treatment and in turn, grow into a fearful and insecure adult.
I pray you find healing. I pray you find peace. I pray you become a mother yourself and love your child with everything you have. Experiencing the mother-child bond through your own children can be a beautiful way to find healing.
I know having children taught me that it was never my fault. It was never anything I did. It was about her. It was her insecurities and fears being projected onto me. It was her attitude problem, not mine. I was a child who was learning and growing, and I needed my mom to love and guide me. She should have done better. Not the other way around.
So if you’re reading this right now and you’re thinking, yes that sounds like my mom, that sounds like me, this is your reminder today that you are worthy and you are loved and you are not your mother.
You can do better. You can change the story for your children. So go out and love with all you have. Be the mom you never got to have. And go forward with a peace in your heart knowing you never did anything to deserve what happened to you.