daughtersofnormabates











{October 1, 2012}   Narcissistic Mothers, Part III

I’ve been saying goodbye to my home of twenty years for the past week, packing and wrapping, unpacking and unwrapping. Lot’s of changes ahead for me, and many new memories to make. But Daughters of Norma Bates must continue! Here’s the third installment of Narcissistic Mothers:

The narcissistic mother demeans, criticizes and denigrates. She lets you know in all sorts of little ways that she thinks less of you than she does of your siblings or of other people in general. If you complain about mistreatment by someone else, she will take that person’s side even if she doesn’t know them at all. She doesn’t care about those people or the justice of your complaints. She just wants to let you know that you’re never right.

She will deliver generalized barbs like, “You never seemed to be able to finish anything” “You were very hard to live with” “You’re always causing trouble” “She will deliver slams in a sidelong way – for example she’ll complain about how “no one” loves her, does anything for her, or cares about her, or she’ll complain that “everyone” is so selfish, when you’re the only person in the room. As always, this combines criticism with deniability.

She will slip little comments into conversation that she really enjoyed something she did with someone else – something she did with you too, but didn’t like as much. She’ll let you know that her relationship with some other person you both know is wonderful in a way your relationship with her isn’t – the carefully unspoken message being that you don’t matter much to her.

She minimizes, discounts or ignores your opinions and experiences. Your insights are met with condescension, denials and accusations (“I think you read too much!”) and she will brush off your information even on subjects on which you are an acknowledged expert. Whatever you say is met with smirks and amused sounding or exaggerated exclamations. She’ll then make it clear that she didn’t listen to a word you said.

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