Characteristics of Narcissistic Moms

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
"It's about secret things. The Destructive Narcissistic Parent creates a child that only exists to be an extension of her self. It's about body language. It's about disapproving glances. It's about vocal tone. It's very intimate. And it's very powerful. It's part of who the child is." ~ Chris

"...a child that only exists to be an extension of her self."

This is the core of the harm done.

The harm so intimately and intentionally done. The Witch Mother validates the reality the outside world forbids her by creating, of her own children, magical mirrors like those employed by the Witch Mother in Snow White.

So says me.


To reclaim our right to ourselves is to defy the Witch Mother's janglingly out of balance reality. Which is the sole reality we know. The fear we contend with in doing so has to do with the primal shame, abandonment. If we have no value to our mothers, if their eyes go empty unless we reflect the imagery in the Snow White Witch Mother mirror...are we real, at all? Do we matter, at all. Keep in mind that every infant learns his or her value first in the mother's eyes. Where our peers will have been taught to listen to internal promptings of courage and individuality and efficacy, we will have been taught the primacy of Fear.

We will have been taught to reflect nothing but the Witch Mother's constructed reality.

For heaven's sake. No wonder they shun us.



We consider echoes of the Witch Mother's intentions toward us to this day, in our figuring out how the world works. Lest the Witch Mother, the internalized My Mother/Myself, vehemently attack and destroy and subvert us, even today. (Who do you think you are. How many of us are haunted by that question. Haunted by it.)

(Going, with apologies in advance, I am going personal in this public place, again. So. I am primal-fear traumatized by spiders, you guys. And by driving across bridges. What I understand about this now is that I attached that primal shame I was brought up to believe was the core of what mattered about me to these avoidable things. These identifiable, avoidable things. These imageries I could instill with fear so I could function, in the world. Lately, as I have healed, I am, horrifically enough, coming to understand that spiders are only creatures living their lives. And now, I feel badly for them and for me and that is an unanticipated pickle I am in, currently.


So. There is a separation I may choose now, between that primal fear response and me.

Not enough yet to save the lives of spiders in my house. But enough to cool the primacy of my response to them, to keep it at bay.

To enable me to function through it.

To not go tharn, like the rabbit in Waterfront Down.


So that is where I am today. Which has not so much to do with this piece, so maybe, I will take that out before I post this.

Back to why I am exploring these issues. I will find that other safe place Going, that you suggested as an alternative to posting here. You were correct. For our own sakes, our healing will be best accomplished with respect for our future selves. Though I still do wonder about that shame issue, and about the value in refusing to allow the shame by posting publically. And in that way, negating the charge in it.)

Back to the original post.


Think about that for a minute. (I think I was talking about Fear response, here.)

Our internal compasses will find True North in self sabotage to meet the raging Witch Mother's expectations that we are who she taught us we are. Not to get into anything too nasty here, but there is a sado-masochistic dynamic at work in our psyches, courtesy of our abusers.

There is in mine. (Sorry, Going North. I know, I know...eeewwwhhh!) I don't mean sexually. That dynamic (sado-masochism) is a dynamic of degree in the same way that the Shunning dynamic is an ever present matter of degree.

It is how we were raised. It is how we think the world works.

So says me.

Each time we stray from the Witch Mother's directives regarding how to define ourselves or where to take our lives or how to love our mates or our children or our pets, we commit acts of outrageous courage.

And we will be shunned for that.

And here is the core of what happens to us: Part of us will shun ourselves. Parts of us will take the Witch Mother's vengeance for her. We all have internalized my mother/myself.

Ours are toxic.

But there they still are.

This is where we reparent. And that is what we fight through, to reparent ourselves. That is why it feels like confronting a nightmare. Even when we know we are dreaming, that we are having a nightmare, it seems real for a little while after we are awake.

Same for us, as we heal.


Because we have always been shunned to one degree or another, because, wisely, we have developed the unique set of skills required to shun, rather than support ourselves, should we go against the internalized Witch Mother's directives ~ and wherever I was going with that next, I lost it. In any event, we punish ourselves for thinking for ourselves, or for believing ourselves worthy of celebration, or even, for the innocence of joy.

I learned much through studying laughter. There are so many different kinds, so many faces that are cruel in their laughter. So many that are beautifully open and clear.

I think animals do not laugh in the crafty way of some humans.


Shunning is a dynamic thing, happening in degrees of shame. It is not only that I am being shunned now, by FOO.

It is that I am shunning myself. That is the hurt of it. I am doing this to myself. BOOM, you guys. Not that it isn't happening. And not that they are not saying and doing what they absolutely are saying and doing.

But I am also hurting myself in some way I am just coming clear on the rationalization for now.


Re the FOO shun: And aint that an awful thing, and don't we all cry our crocodile tears over it, and over my stubbornness in not buckling and coming into the fold. (There has been a death in my FOO recently. The torch has been passed to the next generations. The sickness in the way what has transpired is defined has been passed.) It is an amazing, disheartening, unbelievable thing to see. Had much of what was communicated between my generation of sibs not been through email or Facebook so that I have a record of it, I might believe the current interpretation, myself.

Legitimizing the part of me that shuns my own self.

Here is what I see:

What our familes do matters not at all. What we do to ourselves, how we talk to ourselves, what we believe about ourselves, down in the heart and core of us ~ that is where the damage lives on.

Well, that is what I know about these issues, about myself and my heart and who I am and what this means, this morning.

It is a good place to be.

But I hear you Going, about Conduct Disorders not being the appropriate place for discussions of this nature. And I know you are right about this, and thank you for your courage in saying so for our sakes.

And for directing me to internet sites created for just the purpose I require.

Thank you very much for this, Going North.

I appreciate.