How do you detach from your own mother? You might have tried controlling your communication with her, but if that fails, you may have to consider letting her go.
It might be the most agonizing action you’ve ever considered, but it may ultimately be one of the most healthy and self-affirming things you’ve ever done. Allowing yourself to heal from the wounds inflicted by a narcissistic mother is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself.
When all avenues have been explored and all options exhausted, you may find yourself in the difficult position of simply needing to let go.
You might have tried one of many strategies to live with a narcissistic parent, but your relationship with your mother has become too toxic, and it is impeding on your ability to be a happy, healthy, and independent adult. She no longer wields the control over you; it is your prerogative to move on.
Read on for some specific strategies that will allow you to detach from your narcissistic mother and move forward with confidence.
Moving on from a Narcissistic Mom
It is undoubtedly a difficult decision to let go of your own mom, but because narcissists don’t make the best parents, it may be your only choice. Remember that she has created this impasse, not you, and that the separation does not have to be permanent—if she decides to get help and get better.
Until then, liberate yourself from the constant hurt and turmoil. Here are seven ways for you to do just that:
1. Put Yourself First
Anyone familiar with the twisted ways of the narcissistic mother will know that you, their child, has always had to put her needs and demands ahead of your own. That stops now. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and commitment, but you owe yourself the chance to put yourself first, for once.
This doesn’t mean that you allow yourself to slip into narcissistic behaviors yourself. It simply means that you don’t respond to your mom’s unreasonable demands or react to her demeaning criticisms. Your emotional health and physical well-being are more important than catering to her disorder.
2. Disentangle Your Emotions
The narcissistic mother’s power emerges from her ability to manipulate your emotions, to gaslight your sense of reality, and to control your very identity. Once you begin to dig yourself out from under the burden of her emotional baggage, you can clearly see that her power is hollow and her control transparent.
Detaching yourself from your narcissistic mother allows you to forge your own pathway, to form your own sense of self. The narcissist considers everyone else, maybe especially her children, to be mere extensions of her overwhelming personality. Once you realize that you are your own person, not her creation, you will feel freed and relieved.
3. Create Unbreakable Boundaries
Narcissists don’t have any compunction about violating your boundaries at every turn. It is hard for children of narcissists to set up clear boundaries and stick with them, because they weren’t taught about healthy boundaries growing up. It’s imperative that you build up your boundaries and don’t back down.
These non-negotiable boundaries can be quite simple, such as setting time limits on phone calls or length limits on texts and emails. Or, these boundaries can be quite extreme, such as initiating an indefinite period of no contact. If she cannot respect the simple boundaries, you might have to implement the more severe ones.
4. Accept Backlash without Guilt
The narcissistic mother is not going to let go of her child without a fight because it’s part of what she fears the most, so you can expect that there will be some backlash to your decisions. However, always keep in mind that you have not created this situation. Her behavior has led to this breaking point.
Accept that she will be angry, even threatening, when you begin to establish boundaries and maintain distance. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about her self-pity or rage. Once she finally understands that your boundaries are solid, there is the chance that she will learn to respect them.
5. Avoid Blaming Yourself
The condition of your relationship with your narcissistic mother is not at all your fault. Blaming yourself only leads to guilt, which often leads to letting down your guard and breaking your own boundaries. Place the responsibility squarely where it belongs, on the narcissist herself.
Also be aware that this sense of self-recrimination creeps into other aspects of your life, as well. Children of narcissistic parents often blame themselves for anything that goes awry in other relationships. Avoid falling prey to this self-defeating pattern.
6. Foster Healthy Outlets
Find ways in which you can release some of your emotions in a healthy and cathartic manner. For example, start a journal in which you record your journey with your mom, leaving the hurt and anger behind on the page. Channel whatever creative talents you possess into expressing those emotions in artistic ways.
Choose a new routine or lifestyle habit that encourages you to focus on physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Turn to these routines for comfort when you feel anxious or depressed. For example, try aromatherapy or massage; practice meditation or yoga; or eat healthier and spend more time with positive influences.
7. Commit to Seeking Support
Finding healthy outlets through which you can channel your emotions or soothe your mind and body with self-care is crucial. However, it may not be enough as you go through the emotional challenges of letting go of your narcissistic mother.
You might find that you need additional support, especially early in the process of detaching. Seek out professional therapy, if necessary, or look for support groups online or in your area. Discussing your decisions and your journey with others who have similar experiences can help you to heal.
It is undoubtedly one of the most difficult decisions you will make, to let go of your narcissistic mother. But it is also undeniably one of the most liberating and one of the healthiest choices you can commit to. There are ways in which you can detach from mom and begin to heal yourself that will carry you through the emotional pain.
Trust yourself that you are making the best decision for yourself and your personal growth. If you need some more information, this article can help you with different ways to say goodbye to a narcissistic mother.
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