Surviving a Narcissistic Mother

By Christine Mattice

Do you believe that your opinions and feelings don’t matter? Do you believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with you? Do you believe that, no matter how high your achievements or how hard you try, you will never be good enough? Well, join the crowd. You may be one of the millions of people who were raised by a Narcissistic mother.

I just discovered that I, too, am among the ranks of this particular group of people, those who had a mother who loved herself far more than she could ever love her children, a mother who crippled and abused her children with her Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

Narcissistic Personality disorder, or NPD, (named after the mythological Narcissus, who died gazing at his reflection in a pool of water) is, according to the Mayo Clinic, “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.”

Though this description sounds like healthy self-esteem run amuck, NPD has little in common with true self-esteem. People with healthy self-esteem love and value themselves as MUCH as they love and value others. In contrast, people with NPD value themselves MORE than they value others—in fact, they put themselves WAY above everyone else—and have no regard at all for the rights and the feelings of others.

Though most people have some narcissistic traits, this does not mean that most people have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Rather, NPD is a spectrum disorder, which means that people can have various, and varying, symptoms of the disorder without being clinically diagnosable as an NPD. However, the more of these symptoms (as listed by the Mayo Clinic) the person displays, the more likely he or she is to be a full-blown NPD:

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder*Believing that you’re better than others

*Fantasizing about power, success, and attractiveness

*Exaggerating your achievements or talents

*Expecting constant praise and admiration

*Believing that you’re special

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