PREVIOUS: Harmful Mothers (#1)
BOOK: “The Emotionally Absent Mother” ~ Jasmin Lee Cori
REMINDER: All 5 maternal styles effect both sons & daughters, but each of these mothers will treat their male & female children with differing degrees of ‘favoritism’ & abuse. ALSO – your mother may be some combo of these 5.
5 types FROM: Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers. Read rest of article for suggestions of how to deal with each type.
Harmful MOTHERS (cont)
Normally, parents want to see their children prosper & be happy. Instead,
a child’s success & pleasure arouses hostility in the envious mother. Glowing with good news, a son or daughter expects a parent’s face to reflect admiration. What they see instead is a frozen jaw, the corners of her mouth pulled down in contempt. ‘Who do you think you are? Someday you’ll realize you’re not as good as you think you are,’ she warns.
OR she may at first act pleasant, but later the child notices that she’s irritated by ordinary things they do : ‘Stop making such a racket / Do you have to go on and on about it? / When are you going to do the dishes?’….
• Instead of bolstering the child’s confidence & inspiring a sense of potential, an envious parent begrudges her child’s independence & appropriate self-pride. She thinks: “How dare she get all the attention! / No one is allowed to outshine me! / My — is better than his” OR: Why does he have a chance to succeed when I’m always disappointed? / Look at what I’ve had to give up! / How can she be happy when I’m not…..”
Parental envy will show up even stronger when a child hits adolescence & starts to make their own way in the world. She (unconsciously) believes she’ll only feel secure & connected to her child if it’s self-worth is as low as hers. So, instead of feeling pride & delight in their child blossoming, the envious mother feels something is being taken away from her.
These children learn that the good things in their lives somehow offend, even harm, the person who matters most to them, and who they long to please. As adults they will spend years of trying to please her & other like her – in vain, making it hard to enjoy their achievements – OR give up altogether!
Sites: “Mothers Who Are Jealous of Their Daughters”
“On being the daughter of a Jealous Mother”
This mother is almost totally focus on the external – how things look – to others. Internally, she isn’t capable of the empathy so necessary & important to a healthy parent-child relationship. She craves attention & adoration because of her own low self-worth, which is usually well hidden – even from family members.
In her self-focused mind, children are only a reflection of her, so have to be outstanding / perfect in absolutely every way – to make her look good. Any time the child needs attention, just for themselves & for any reason, this mother experiences it as competition, which is unacceptable to her.
If a child says they’re tired, mom will snap back: ‘Don’t talk to me about feeling tired. I’ve been hard at work all day. You don’t know what being really tired is’. If the child says “Look what I did / learned in school today!” She might say “That’s not so great. You could have done that better. I already know that” ….
These children are in a double bind:
• constantly pressure to be totally subservient to the mother’s ego
• AND expected to shine for their accomplishments.
So no matter how hard they try to please her, they live under a black cloud of disdain & disapproval. The constant anxiety is that their relationship could break apart at any minute, whenever she’s inadvertently offended – which is inevitable. It’s a bewildering & volatile situation.
Narcissists have fragile relationships with others as well, since their overblown ‘ego’ causes them to take offense at the smallest imagined slight, so they will suddenly cut people out of their lives or punish them in some way for being ‘insulting’.
Sites: The Narcissistic Mother /6 Faces of Maternal Narcissism
NEXT: Part 3 – Dealing with……