Your narcissistic mother might have either smothered you or ignored you. In either case, you were subjected to narcissistic abuse. Whether your mother was an engulfing narcissist who tried to dominate and control every aspect of your life or an ignoring narcissist who treated you as an inconvenience in her life, you were and still may be exposed to harmful behaviors.
Narcissistic mothers can be incessant in their criticism and demand for perfection from their children. They don’t consider their children’s feelings as valid and provide them with little guidance and little genuine maternal care. The damage they do can last a lifetime. Read on to discover how you can protect yourself from a narcissistic mother.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from your narcissistic mother. While the abuse you suffered can create serious obstacles in your life, you can free yourself from your mother’s grip and go on to live a satisfying life. Here are several tips for protecting yourself from the influence of your narcissistic mother.
The first step in any healing process is acceptance. This article explains what acceptance is all about and why it helps. This idea sounds simple enough, but the reality is that it can be very difficult to do.
You may find it hard to believe that a mother could treat anyone the way your mother treated you. You may want to remain hopeful that she can and will change, and you might not want to accept the significant damage she has done to you.
In order to accept the truth about your mother and what happened to you, you first have to be aware of it. The next thing you have to accept is that you cannot change your mother. The only person who can cause her to change is your mother herself.
You must let go of the romanticized notion that something will happen and there will be that fairy tale reunion as she realizes the error of her ways. You must accept that she will likely be just as she is now for the remainder of her life.
Educating yourself about narcissism and its effects on family members can help you to accept the truth of your situation. It can help you to see just how you’ve been affected by narcissistic abuse, and it can guide you in the next steps to take to heal your wounds.
When you educate yourself, you can learn what kind of narcissism affects your mother as well as how it has harmed you and other family members. You’ll discover just how your mother may have manipulated you and your siblings so that no one would dare to contradict her.
You’ll also learn the next steps to take to help yourself heal. You can find therapy recommendations as well as tips you can use at home to start understanding and healing the negative effects your mother had on you.
Recognize Familial Roles
Narcissism doesn’t happen in a vacuum. When there’s a narcissistic parent in the family, everyone is affected. By understanding the roles that were created in the family as a result of the trauma, you can begin to unravel the trauma caused by this harmful problem.
Were you the golden child or the scapegoat? Did your father enable your mother’s behavior? Did your mother successfully create a rivalry between you and your siblings?
As you explore these questions, you can start to understand just how your mother’s manipulation affected everyone in the family, and you can begin to heal those relationships. It’s important to remember that the roles created are all part of the warped manipulation coming from your narcissistic mother.
That can help you forgive what you may have seen as betrayals on the part of your siblings. If you can form a united front with them against your mother, that will be a powerful defense mechanism. It’s an empowering way to shut down her attempts to manipulate you. If this is not possible, it’s probably a good idea to distance yourself from your siblings so that you can protect yourself from further abuse.
Re-establish Your Boundaries
Narcissistic mothers don’t see that their children have a right to have secure boundaries. For that reason, they violate any boundaries you might attempt to establish.
If you were the golden child, your job was to reflect what your mother wanted to see in herself, and if you were the scapegoat, your job was to take the blame for everything that went wrong. Either way, you were a means to an end for your mother.
You were not a person with your own identity and the right to establish your own personal boundaries. Because you have lived so long without being able to have boundaries that others respected, it can be difficult to establish them now.
Establishing boundaries is, however, one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The first place to start is with your narcissistic mother. Determine what you will and will not permit from her, tell her about your boundaries, and be firm in keeping them secure.
This may necessitate cutting off all contact with her until you feel you can confidently stand firm against her manipulation attempts. If you feel you must do that, you’ll want to be prepared for how she might react–check out these 8 things your narcissistic mother might do when you cut off contact. Whatever you feel you need to do in order to secure your boundaries is something you must give yourself permission to do.
There is no one way to protect yourself from a narcissistic mother, but the important thing is to learn to recognize the effects this abuse has had on you and start the long journey toward healing and becoming whole again.
It’s important to realize that so much of what your mother has done to abuse you is deeply embedded in your psyche. As a child, you had no understanding that the treatment you were receiving wasn’t normal.
What’s more, none of what happened to you was your fault, and no matter how you responded, you were merely trying to survive in the best way you could. There is a way to be whole again, and you can heal yourself so that you can live the life you want to live.
You deserve to be free of the abusive treatment your narcissistic mother constantly dished out, and there is a way out of the darkness and into the light. It starts with realization and gets better from there.
Part of protecting yourself from a narcissist involves confronting them with the truth. Learn what to expect when you do that in the article, “What Happens When Confronting A Narcissist With The Truth?”
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