Your Success and Happy Days

In most cases Narcissistic Mothers begrudge you your success and happy days. That is certainly what I have experienced anyway, as have many other Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

One of the biggest gifts of realising about Narcissistic Mothers was realising, finally, just why she was so mean and dismissive about my successes and happy days.

It’s because, if it’s about you, it’s not about her. And that cannot be. Simple.

One huge example is that of my wedding day. I grieved for so many years over this, but now I can accept that, that given her Narcissism and my father’s enabling ways, it couldn’t ever have been different.

It started when he and she announced that they had decided that they would keep her Mother-of-the-Bride outfit a surprise from me until the big day. I was a bit taken aback by this. This meant that on my wedding day I’d have to stand there and make a fuss of her. That felt a bit odd, but I accepted it, as I accepted so many things I should not have done.

On my wedding day neither she nor my father made the slightest fuss of me whatsoever. She did not help me get dressed. When I came downstairs in my bridal dress they both ignored me – not viciously or overtly, they just didn’t acknowledge me at all.

That whole day, snever told me I looked well, or beautiful or anything – although when challenged on this afterwards she literally screamed that she had told me this. This contradiction bewildered me so much for so many years. I knew that she hadn’t, I’d been waiting for that crumb of acknowledgement so hard that I was very aware of what she said and didn’t say. But yet she sounded so certain. That was before I knew about gaslighting. Now it makes perfect sense.

After the wedding service she told me that Mrs X had cried at the ceremony. I asked if she, herself, had cried. She said dismissively, “No, I never cry at these things”.

I wondered how she was such an expert on ‘these things’ such as her daughters’ weddings, as I was the first one married.

But, hungry for acknowledgement I persisted, “Well, are you happy for me?”

She said, “Well, I’m glad to see you married,” making it very clear that she meant, married at last, after living ‘in sin’ for so long.

At the wedding speech, my father referred to “the most beautiful woman in the room here today …” and my heart swelled in anticipation. At last, some acknowledgement. But like the good Enabler he is, he went on, “… my wife.”

To this day he insists that he was right to do this, that it was up to my new husband to say nice things about me, not him. But he had already stolen the thunder; there can only be one ‘most beautiful woman’. And he cannot see that to steal that from a woman on her wedding day is so cruel.

The irony is that my mother didn’t even hear him say this! I suspect that, thinking that the speeches wouldn’t be about her, that she didn’t even listen to them.

When I conceived my first baby I sent my husband to meet my father and tell him, because I didn’t want her raining on that parade too. I wish I had kept to this for my second baby. Now, bear in mind that I miscarried that first baby and it took me a long year and a half to conceive again, so the news of the second pregnancy was huge!

My parents took the news in such a muted fashion that I might as well have told them that the price of tea-bags was going up. It was so blatant that my father even apologised. “It might look like we’re not excited,” he said, “but we are.”

There are many, many more examples of this. But this website isn’t about me, except in as much as my experiences can provide validation for yours.

Suffice to say that Narcissistic Mothers cannot step outside their own egos long enough to genuinely celebrate anybody else’s special days, events, or successes.

One thing I noticed in my own experience was that if my success reflected well on her, she loved it, but if not, she ignored it. I had some small success as a cookery writer and presenter and she preened, “Oh the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” because she’s a good cook too and as she said, “I wonder where you got that from!”. But my somewhat bigger success as a writer was pretty much ignored because she couldn’t claim any credit for that.