(How A Narcissistic Mother Can Set Her Daughter Up For Postpartum Depression- Help from a Raleigh Therapist)
When you become the mother.
For, you, the daughter of the Narcissistic mother, new motherhood can be terrifying. Just when everyone expects you to be blissing out, you can feel like a failure.
Do you look at your beautiful baby only to have tears stream down your face?
As a consequence of being a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, you have so little in your tank, so little to draw on, a babies needs can feel draining and endless.
Pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, infancy, are all fraught with the dangerous feelings of “not good enough.”
Does your babies newborn cry feel torturous?
You might feel that your baby is screaming to all the world that you are worthlessness and that she sees it.
Or, equally tortuous, you can feel that your baby is a monster sucking the life out of you. Her needs, feel like too much.
What’s more, you are filled with shame for having those feelings. You know how crazy this all sounds, it is hard to talk about with anyone.
It doesn’t help that everyone around you is expecting you to be joyful, but you can’t stop crying and feeling hopeless.
With the physical trauma of childbirth and the hormonal upheaval, it can all come crashing down on you in the form of postpartum depression.
When the baby-blues hang on for weeks, even months without lifting you and your baby will suffer.
This can be so hard.
This isn’t trivial whining about mom. This is real emotional pain.
The feelings that are coming up for you are not your fault.
If you could understand what is happening and be gentle with yourself.
These uncomfortable feelings are from the basement of your unconscious. You don’t choose to feel this way. In fact, every cell in your being is saying.. Stop. Stop. Stop.
It has nothing to do with how much you love your baby.
Did you hear me?
Let me repeat-
These feelings have nothing to do with how much you love your baby or how much you will love your baby.
You are (unconsciously) responding to what your baby symbolizes.
Perhaps your own mother suffered herself. You looked into her eyes and for one reason or another ..all you got was, lights out, distraction or flat affect.
No delight. No joy. Just an emptiness.
You don’t choose to have these negative nightmare feelings- they are just there.
Even if you love your baby beyond belief, you might still have these feelings. That is so hard to understand yourself, much less describe to anyone else.
Yet, it is so understandable.
Particularly if you are the daughter of the difficult mother, you may have put your mother’s happiness ahead of your own without even knowing it.
When baby arrives on the scene, even a much wished for baby; it hits you on a primal level……….. you time will never come.
It may hit you in the gut – you never got to live for yourself. And now it is too late.
This, of course, is not true- but emotionally it hits you as true.
But life goes on and ……
Maybe you and your baby have found your way to each other. But you still remember that awful emptiness when everything seemed too much.
You can never forget that feeling.
Did anyone help you with this? Did you suffer in silence and shame? Was your postpartum depression passed off as simply a medical problem, not a psychological one with real understandable roots?
You did your best then. The more you know about the cycle and make healing a priority now, the better.
That is why this mother /daughter work is so very important. Revolutionary, even.
When mom is insecure herself, it can affect her daughter in so many ways. Important and life changing ways. And those awful feelings can be passed down in the form of postpartum depression.
The silence and shame have to stop. The psychological curtain of postpartum depression must be pulled back; the unconscious made conscious.
You are not alone, and you are not crazy.
We need communities of healing, affordable, accessible healing modalities, and understanding. Above all, we need to understanding for each other.
This isn’t mother against daughter. This work is about lifting all women up. Elevating and supporting all daughters in their time of need so that no one goes it alone.
We are in this together. The feelings you have are understandable.
If you are going through this right now, reach out to your health professional. If you remember feeling so lost and are on the other side but still suffer from feelings of guilt around this time, show yourself some kindness and compassion.
I know where you are coming from.
You can heal from this one story at a time.
This article originally appeared on http://daughtersrising.info Katherine’s sister site.