I was re-reading a journal entry I wrote expressing some grief I have as a result of the “relationship,” or lack thereof I had with my “mother” growing up, and I cannot help but wonder if the woman is a female narcissist? I have no doubt in my mind that she is ill, and likely personality-disordered.
I found an article that describes characteristics of narcissistic mothers, and I thought I would share a few that stand out:
2. Another major one of the signs of narcissism is that she ‘gaslights’ – i.e. lies and denies. So many of the cruelties are sly and subtle that it’s the cumulative effect which is devastating. But if you try to remind her of previous examples, to show a pattern, she’ll deny flat out that they ever happened.
3. Another characteristic of a narcissistic mother is that she’s always running you down, often subtly (maybe even by a glance or tone of voice) but equally often overtly.
8. She’s clever. It’s all subtle. She picks her moments so that there are no witnesses (or no witnesses not also under her dominion, e.g. an enabling father). This makes it very, very hard to explain to others, and adds to the crazy-making head-wreckingness of it all.
9. She talks herself up as being a great mother. “I was so worried about you,” she’ll tell you, but you get a hollow feeling that it wasn’t true. These things are easy to say after all, and require no action or effort.
10. She divides the family to conquer it. Her children might be golden children or scapegoats. Neither of these is a good position to be in. (Note: not all Narcissistic Mothers do this – mine didn’t.)
12. She never, ever, ever gives a genuine apology. If forced she might say something like, “I’m sorry if you got upset,” or similar non-apology. She’s more likely to deny that the offensive situation actually occured.
13. Or another of the signs of narcissism is that she’s very likely to blame you for whatever happened. She’ll never accept responsibility. I complained to my mother once about the fact she talked all the time. Her reply? “Well, you make me so nervous that I talk all the time from nervousness.” I had no answer to that, and to this day cannot think of a proper answer.
16. But at the same time as lacking empathy, she’s a great student of human emotion. She analyses us (us being the normal ones) all the better to manipulate us.
It reminds me of my dog. My dog studied me intently and knew that a certain shoes and jacket meant a walk and she could get excited. But high heels and handbag meant she wasn’t coming out with me. She had no clue about why the different clothes meant different things, she just knew that they did.
Narcissists are the same. They don’t experience emotion and don’t understand it. But they can observe it and take advantage of it.
18. She’s selfish. That goes without saying. There’s never any genuine generosity. Any seeming generosity has an ulterior motive. Maybe it’s so she can tell her friends about what she got you. Or maybe it’s so she can throw it in your face at a later date. Or maybe it’s a sly dig, e.g. a book on dieting.
20. Having said that, they can use gifts of money to gain control over you, to make you dance to their tune. So on the face of it, these gifts seem very generous. But there are always huge strings attached.
27. She may fail to protect you, by allowing (or, if you’re the scapegoat, even encouraging) others to hurt you.
28. She may, if she’s a malignant narcissist, even physically abuse you.
36. She may project her own neurosis onto you. So if she’s worried about her weight, she’s always on about your weight. That was something my own mother did all the time. I was the one who, she said, looked so like her, and she was always telling me about people who said it too. (In fairness, some people said it to me directly.) She wasn’t confident about her own looks so when she said about me looking like her, she’d say, “Poor you.”
37. She’s often very, very vain. My own mother didn’t fall into this category at all, but many do. They are always perfectly dressed, maybe even overdressed for the occasion, wearing make-up and so on. These women tend to hate ageing and are prime candidates for cosmetic surgery. (Not that everyone who hates ageing and has cosmetic surgery is Narcissistic!)
38. She interferes in your relationships. She doesn’t want anybody else to be happy without her, because happiness without her presence means she’s – gasp! – not the centre of the universe. So she might stir it, sly underminings of your husband maybe, “He’s not a very good provider, is he?”
A classic is to keep you and your siblings at logger-heads. That way she retains control. She will talk about each of you to the others. She’s like a spider at the centre of a web, manipulating you all. This is called triangulation.
44. She judges people as being good or bad based on whether they agree with her or not. So, normal people could think of somebody: “I totally disagree with his religious beliefs, politics and economic beliefs. But he’s a very good man”.
Not your Narcissistic Mother! Her philosophy is, “If you agree with me, you’re good. If you don’t, you’re bad.”
Article Link: http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/narcissism-traits.html
Linked journal entry: https://not2bforgot10.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/june-17th-2010-my-past-my-experiences-grievances/