Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
When you think about it, where better could a narcissist get such a ready, biddable,
vulnerable source of Narcissistic Supply than from her own children?
These women have, of course, all the specific traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But as mothers they have a few
other tricks too, especially for their children.
They fall into one of two categories - engulfing mothers who
see no boundaries between themselves and their daughters, and ignoring mothers
who don't particularly even see their daughters, and certainly don't care. Each is hugely dysfunctional and
One trick, or aspect, of narcissistic mothers, is that they're quite often nice. This can be so confusing - part of the
head-wreckingness of this whole NPD. The niceness always has strings attached
One of Narcissistic mothers' favourite tricks is invalidation, including a particularly nasty and insiduous form of invalidation called
gaslighting. No matter what emotions or memories you bring up, they'll dismiss
them. This leads you to not knowing which way is up. Are they really toxic, or are they right about it all being
your fault? (Light's Toxicity Test sorts this dilemma out beautifully!)
They master various forms of abuse, including forcing
their children into the Golden Child or Scapegoat roles, and pure
and simple bullying.
They're emotional vampires, feeding off yours and others' tragedies, and
always dismiss or otherwise ruin your successes and celebrations. I
found therefore that dealing with my narcissistic mother involved
only the most banal of conversation - I could share neither my highs nor my lows.
They also have the twin cruelties of parentification and
infantalisation, where they get you to parent them and keep you dependant on
them respectfully. A narcissistic mother could do either or both of these.
Another one of their tricks is triangulation, where they
make themselves the pivotal point of the family dynamic and everything has to go through them.Add to
this, many narcissistic mothers' extreme vanity, and their
sometimes bizarre attitude towards sexuality, and you
have quite a combination.
Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can't do it alone, of course. They need help, and
Enabling Fathers are the perfect ones to give them that help.
For a kind of a bitter laugh, check out the Narcissistic Mothers Dictionary, and see how they use words differently
from the rest of the world.
Most people never even think of the possibility of narcissistic mothers. We have a huge cultural
embargo upon thinking badly of mothers. We esteem mothers, put them on pedestals, worship them almost. I've read
that this cultural indoctrination is why the fairy stories always feature wicked stepmothers - because to
speak of wicked mothers is just undoable. I think there's a lot of plausibility in this theory.
I'm writing this just a couple of days after Mother's Day and it'd make you sick, the sycophancy
and adoration of mothers and motherhood that goes on. In my book You're Not Crazy -
It's Your Mother (which is also part of the comprehensive Narcissistic Parent Survival Kit) I speak of how this
sycophancy is a third layer of abuse heaped upon us DONMs. The first two are directly from our mother herself,
and then this one from society at large.
If you'd like to 'meet' a nice mother, a nurturing caring mother, then check out the Inner Mother Guided Meditation.
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