The Legacy of Distorted Love

Recognizing, understanding and overcoming the debilitating impact of maternal narcissism

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Adult children of narcissistic parents commonly grow up with this nagging feeling that they flunked childhood and it’s all their fault. They internalize the message they are not good enough no matter how hard they try. Read More

I'm so glad I found you!

"Adult children of narcissistic parents commonly grow up with this nagging feeling that they flunked childhood and it’s all their fault."

Oh God... You meant it as an introductory sentence, but it hit me square in the guts. You've put in just a few words the feelings I've been trying to identify for months: I feel I've FLUNKED childhood (and youth). I don't believe any more that it's all my fault, but that horrible feeling of having flunked something as basic as childhood... Oh yeah, it's still there all right!

Good news is: now that I know the name of the beast, I can get onto the business of slaying it ;) Thanks!

Emotional Freedom Techiniques

I read the book Daughters of a Narcissistic Mothers and I only realised now why after my mothers death 2 months ago that i stil cry for stuff that i have experienced as an adult even after her death.

Before she died i felt as if i had made peace with the past and it was good to cry, but lately I felt lot of pain for past experiences and that I found this site and read the book and only now realise that nothing is wrong with me.

Since she passed on i feel that it is important to work on my healing and to live life to the fullest.

Thanks for such great work. This book took me back many years ago and even a last will and testament is evident of being narcissistic

Love E

I always knew something wasn't right

As a child I always felt just like described here, but I couldn't really articulate what exactly was wrong. Even as an adult I mostly put it down to just bad parenting on the part of my parents, but after reading this, I think both my parents might have been narcissists, or at least my mother was and my father had other issues and was strongly enabling her.

The one thing that is a little off though is how I was used as a reflection. A significant emphasis was put on appearances, yes, in that if I did something that was in anyway perceived to reflect poorly on my parents in front of guests, relatives, or in public it was far worse of an offence than anything done in private (this is still the case - I still get massive lectures for any 'impropriety'). They also disavowed all responsibility for my 'failures' as much as possible, blaming me for being a bad child beyond their control and trying to convince others of this fact (and when people did not believe them they got very upset). However, my successes were treated differently. Instead of becoming jealous of them, they claimed credit for them. They acted as if they were the one who won the competition or got the good grade by not only bragging about it, but emphasizing any tiny amount of help provided or claiming credit for teaching any 'skills'. And they pushed me to these successes. If I did not succeed I would be punished for not trying (a B might as well have been an F once I got old enough).

There was only one instance of jealousy that I observed. It concerned the fact that I was accepted to university whereas my parents did not have the opportunity. They did not know I was listening to the conversation (really, it was loud though, and I don't think I could have avoided hearing). I expect they are quite jealous of the fact I am now attending law school.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Karyl McBride, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.


Subscribe to The Legacy of Distorted Love

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.