Forms Of Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic Mothers have many subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – forms of narcissistic abuse.
She lies to us and about us. She insults us, sometimes so subtly that we’re left wondering if we imagined it. Sometimes the insults are wrapped in a cloak of concern, “Poor you, you’re always so confused”.
She demeans us and doesn’t respect us whatsoever.
She ignores us when it suits her and overwhelms us what that suits her.
She manipulates us, our feelings and our situations for her pleasure.
She controls us, using us as a pawn to get her Narcissistic Supply.
She ignores our personal boundaries, both physical and emotional. She treats us as an object, only existing for her gratification. She denies our basic existence, our very humanity.
She subjects us to her Narcissistic Rage on a whim.
She forces guilt onto us, and shame. She tells us in every moment – verbally and otherwise – that we’re unworthy and never good enough for her.
She gaslights us, making us doubt our own reality and our own sanity. This is such a core issue it’s why I called my book You’re Not Crazy – It’s Your Mother after all.
She’s sly and sneaky, reserving her abuse for secret times, so others don’t see it, and don’t believe us if we try to tell them. Which is even more crazy-making.
She neglects our needs, sending always the message that we don’t matter, that we’re worthless. This leads to self-loathing and struggles with self-care.
She’s unpredictable, capricious and inconsistent, so we never know where we are or what to expect. There’s no secure foundation to this world.
She tells us she loves us and distorts the word by doing so, because she doesn’t act as if she loves us. Another form of gaslighting as our experience contradicts exactly what she is insisting is so.
She makes herself the centre of the family, forcing us all to revolve around her and keep her happy. Her needs are paramount; ours, barely acknowledged.
She can’t be trusted. She says one thing one day, and another the next.
She misuses your vulnerabilities. She knows them, as your mother. Anything you say will be used against you. She fights dirty.
Sexual abuse is not a classic act of narcissistic mothers. But having said that, from the experiences of those daughters on my forum, it’s clear that they can often be inappropriate physically – insisting on intimate examinations under the guise of medical or hygiene reasons, for example.
And, of course, they can be so neglectful and uncaring that they make their daughters prime targets for full-blown sexual abusers. There’s a whole strategy to paedophilia, and it involves identifying the perfect victim to start with, and a child who isn’t minded, or paid attention to, or supervised, or cared about, is their ideal. It helps, too, that that child might be desperate for attention and so welcome the paeophile’s grooming attentions, making it even easier.
Although is one of the forms of narcissistic abuse, I would call this sexual abuse by proxy, in a way. These narcissistic mothers might not be actively sexually abusing their daughters (although of course that can happen too), but they are facilitating it by omission.
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