My book "You're Not Crazy - It's Your Mother"
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Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are in a very good position when you think about it. Where else would 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 they have a few other tricks too, especially for their children.

They fall into 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 damaging.

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 though. 

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 Click here to view more details">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.

Narcissistic Mothers

Most people never even think of the possibility of narcissistic mothers. To the extent that NPD is in the public consciousness at all - which is very little - it's more considered to be men who have it. This is partly because it does seem to be more prevalent in men. And also my impression is that men with it are more likely to be violent and so more likely to come to public awareness.

And if people think of women having it, they maybe think of wives and girlfriends and friends. They don't think of 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.  

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