How my narcissistic parent made me believe I’m a failure…

I’m 26 years old and realized that I have been a victim of narcissistic abuse only a few months back. I won’t lie, it was heartbreaking. Out of all the people in the world, your own mom considered you as her competition. I was shattered when I knew this. It took me days to accept it. I kept wondering what is it that I was feeling. It was anger, sadness, helplessness and what not. 

For the first few days I kept thinking of situations to try and make myself believe that it was not my mom. My mom wasn’t a reason for my anxious behaviour. My mom wasn’t the reason I was under confident. My mom wasn’t the reason I hated my body. But all my conclusions boiled down to one thing. She was the biggest reason. I hated that fact because I couldn’t hate my mom. I didn’t know what to do.

The next few days I spent observing moms and daughters around me. Turns out my grandmother did the same to my mom. Maybe even worse. She made her feel worthless as a kid because she didn’t study as good as her siblings. Her constant comparison with my mom’s friends made it worse for her. My mom grew up to just please my Grandmom. She does that till date. She makes sure that she is the best child of her mom and considers her siblings as her competition. Once I figured this out, it started bothering me and filling me with the fear of being a parent. I still don’t think I can be a good parent because of the fear of being a narcissistic one.

A few points I want to focus on which anybody who has been through narcissistic abuse may relate to:

  1. Lack of Boundaries: Since narcissistic moms tend to see their daughters as both threats and as annexed to their own egos. They try to create themselves in their daughters. They project onto their daughters all the unwanted aspects of themselves and also disliked traits of their own mothers.
  2. Abuse: Repeated shaming and control that will undermine the developing identity of the young daughter creating tons of insecurities. She won’t be able to trust her own feelings and decisions. She will blame herself for everything that displeases her mother unaware of the fact that her mother will never be satisfied. 
  3. Emotional unavailability: They might tend to your physical needs but barely the emotional ones. You don’t realize what’s missing but longs for warmth and care from her mother which you might notice with other mothers among your friends. I would always look to fill this in other relationships, including my romantic ones but the pattern is often repeated.
  4. Control over daughters: Narcissistic mothers are myopic as the world revolves around them and fail to see anything else outside that. They control and manipulate your needs. For them, parenting is only their way and any other way is not acceptable.
  5. Competition: Let me tell about this to you in a story. My mom keeps recalling stories about how people compliment her on her looks and tell her she is more beautiful and young-looking than her daughter. She is never happy for my achievements unless it is linked to her own achievements. All my life she considered me a competition.

Earlier, my partners always made me feel guilty about anything that wasn’t my own mistake. Now I understand the same and don’t succumb to it anymore. 

I’m more confident to be in my own body than ever because I have realized my worth. I don’t go on crash diets anymore even when my mom forces me to do it.

I’m slowly setting boundaries with people in my life because my life is for me to live and nobody else.

I understand recovery from this trauma will take time and effort. I an confident about it and hope all of you who are going through similar trauma will reach there too. See you on the other side 😊

– Anonymous

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