Having worked in the child sexual abuse field for 30 some years, I am continually struck with a sense of sadness when yet another family comes forward with admissions of sibling sexual abuse. Rather than judgment it is important to be aware of treatment and healing options. Jumping to quick labeling without understanding the help needed is dangerous.
Mother’s Day is approaching. Is it time to run and hide or stumble into a Hallmark store to desperately search for that empty card that says nothing upon which you simply sign your name? How sad, awful, taboo, and misunderstood this is for adult children raised by narcissistic parents. Who woulda thunk it?
What’s wrong with saying the phrase “What Is Wrong with You?” to children or adolescents? Nothing, if your tone is compassionate and you are wondering if they want to share their feelings with you. But that is different from what we hear far too often when a parent is exasperated with a child, throwing up their hands in desperation, and asking this question.
Have you wondered where your internalized message of “I’m not good enough,” comes from? Do you feel you give life your best, work hard, try hard, but still can’t give yourself credit? Are you constantly beating yourself up and thinking that somehow you should be more, do more, be better, and you don't measure up in your own mind?
With Valentine's Day here, the topic of love is hot stuff. Will you be my Valentine? Will we love 'til death do us part? Is unconditional love even possible in romantic relationships? Did I learn how to love in my childhood?
Expectations can get us in trouble during the holiday season. Why is it that we somehow still hang onto the vision that we can suddenly transform the family into what we want during the holidays and all those old wounds, stories, and disappointments will shrink away when the bells start ringing and Santa’s sleigh starts flying?
The family with a narcissistic mother operates according to an unspoken set of rules. Children learn to live with those rules, but they never stop being confused and pained by them, for these rules block children’s emotional access to their parents. They are basically invisible—not heard, seen, and nurtured.
I recently got an email from a lovely woman saying she feels she repeats the dynamic she had with her narcissistic mother in her choice of friends. She says she befriends narcissistic women, who then, like her mother, end up rejecting her. Is this you?
When I was writing the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, I found that I heard certain kinds of painful stories over and over again, like themes in a piece of music. One theme was that of mothers being jealous of their daughters.
Lack of accountability is a pet peeve for sure, and also a common problem with narcissists. Although there are many disturbing factors in the personality of a narcissist, this one is tough to deal with in any relationship. It’s hard to understand. What is so difficult about owning up to mistakes when we’re wrong?
Do you struggle with trust or commitment?
“I can’t seem to commit in relationships.”
“I choose people who don’t commit.”
“I start out fine, but something happens and I opt out.”
“I find someone I’m interested in and poof they’re gone.”
Nobody wants to be a "Debbie Downer" on Mothers Day. Its a blessed and sacred institution and should be. It is certainly one of the most beautiful things about being a woman. To awaken on Mother's Day and cherish the memories of parenting is a day to behold. But, there is another side that is rarely discussed and leaves many women in a state of pain.