Embrace Recovery on Mother’s Day
Adult children of narcissistic parents in search of peace
Posted Apr 25, 2016
Mother’s Day in the United States is rapidly approaching. It’s the time of year that my inbox is flooded with questions. What to do? What card to buy? Contact or not? Adult children of narcissistic parents begin reaching out in words of great despair.
Mother’s Day is idealized in our culture and is this country’s most widely observed holiday. But for some, celebrating this unassailable tradition becomes a difficult reminder for those who did not have the saintly maternal archetype.
It’s a natural human feeling to long for a mother who loves everything about you absolutely and completely. It’s normal to want to lay your head on your mother’s breast and feel the security and warmth of her love and compassion. To imagine her saying, “I’m here for you, baby,” when you reach out for her. We all need more than the roof over our head, food to eat, and clothes to wear: we need the unconditional love of a trusted, loving parent.
After my book, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, was released in 2008, we have seen many others written on similar topics. Forums have been popping up, people are sharing and talking more about this disorder of narcissism. I know it is a relief to be able to understand it, to know you are not alone, to realize that “flunking childhood” and “it was all your fault” is not correct. I send out warmth and good vibes to all professionals who have jumped on board to help people heal.
This year as I write about the topic again, the focus is on recovery. It is one thing to cognitively understand the disorder of narcissism, but it is crucial to work recovery if you have found it to be a debilitating factor in your life or relationships. The past does not have to define you and there is a better way to live rather than a life of self-doubt and constantly feeling “not good enough.” As I have worked with so many people over the years, I have seen amazing transformations in their recovery work. Those of you who now see how worthy you are, who understand the need for self-nurture and self-compassion and are working so hard to “stop the legacy of distorted love,” I applaud you.
In the first step of recovery, we work on acceptance that things are not going to change with a narcissist. We give up the wishing and hoping. This acceptance propels one into working through the loss, grief, rage, and sadness. The process can take some time, but time worth spent. As we all know, if we don’t deal with our feelings they seem to have a way of dealing with us. But, after this first difficult step, the good begins to happen. The rest of my 5-step recovery model is really about finding you again and rebuilding your wonderful sense of self.
If stuck in grief, come join recovery. We may be triggered and even feel despair, but we can also celebrate the fact that we can overcome. We can acquire the strength to break free from the longing for the parent we never had and instead be able to nurture and love the people we have become.
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.”
Agnes Repplier, The Treasure Chest
Wishing a peaceful Mother’s Day to all!
Additional Resources by the Author:
Published Books + Audio Versions:
Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Virtual Workshop. Work recovery in the privacy of your own home, complete with video presentations and homework assignments.
Therapist Training for Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Share the 5-Step recovery model with your clients.
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