Do you know what narcissism means? I didn’t, until I started reading this book. I am quoting the amazing Karyl McBride, author of said book, which is helping me understand my mom. Actually some of my other family members are probably narcissists too.
inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.
Psychoanalysis . erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development
Now narcissism is a spectrum disorder, like autism. There are nine traits of narcissism, and The American Psychiatric Association estimates that 1.5 million American women are narcissistic. Apparently we all have some of these traits, and those on the low end are normal. The farther you go on the spectrum, the more problems you encounter.
Here are the 9 traits:
1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance, e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate talents.
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3.believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people.
4. requires excessive admiration.
5.has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
6. is impersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
7.lacks empathy; is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of her.
9. shows arrogance, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Now my mother doesn’t have all of these traits, but she does have a lot of them. Reading this book has been a painful, eye opening, incredible learning experience. I started in the beginning of April and I’m still not done.
I think my mom learned most of this from her mom, or someone else. I think it’s defensive narcissism, which means she does have a chance to get better.
I was never really able to trust anyone until I met Jim, and it took a long time. Sometimes I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am just now feeling safe for the first time since I was a small child. And that is why all this shit is coming to the surface.
The following are internalized messages repeated through my life:
I am not good enough.
I am valued for what I do rather than for who I am.
I am unlovable.
Here are the 10 stingers(mother-daughter dynamics):
1. you find yourself constantly attempting to win your mother’s love, attention, and approval, but never feel able to please her.
2. your mother emphasizes the importance of how it looks to her rather than how it feels to you.
3. your mother is jealous of you.
4. your mother does not support your healthy expression of self, especially when they conflict with her own needs or threaten her.
5. in your family, it’s always about Mom.
6. your mother is unable to empathize.
7.your mother can’t deal with her own feelings.
8. your mother is critical and judgmental.
9. your mother treats you like a friend, not a daughter.
10.you have no boundaries or privacy with your mother.
If this sounds like your mother, I suggest you get some therapy or help of some kind, because there is a ton of damage that needs to be undone in order for you to be a healthy individual.
Basically I have to come to terms with the fact that my mother is never going to be the mother I want or need. Sounds simple, right? It’s not, not at all. Despite the fact that I am pretty healthy considering my circumstances, this is probably the hardest step.I have to accept her limitations and stop having expectations.
Then I have to grieve the mother I never had.
I have to grieve the child I never got to be.
There is a special type of therapy for this, it’s called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. You can find a therapist at emdria.org.
I must separate myself from her.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers are SCAPEGOATS for their mothers projections, including self-loathing and fragile ego. (man this makes so much sense, all of it,like WOW)
She envies me, and I have to learn healthy ways to cope.
Whew. It’s a lot right??
All while grieving my sweet Grace. All while receiving the silent treatment from my family. Yep my mom and I haven’t talked in over a week.
Anyway, I thought this was a great topic to post about because I am sure it can help someone.
Wish me luck, this is a really tough road.