Do daughters revel in their anger towards their narcissistic mothers?
Blame mom! Rail against mom! If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother, right?
Although it might look this way on the surface, in my 30 years as a psychotherapist, I find quite the opposite is true.
Most daughters want to feel love from and towards their mothers.
Especially Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers feel this way. You work so hard for mom to be happy with you. Then you spiral down into feelings of resentment and anger. You feel like you are never good enough.
My guess is that you don’t want to feel angry and resentful. To feel this angry hurts your heart and wears you down.
So many of us keep trying to be good for mom in hopes that she will approve of us and we will finally get the love we need. We think this is the key.
There is a part of us that holds out mother love as a guarantee, a right, a law of the universe somehow.
We cling to it.
We insist it is true.
What is true is that we are neurologically programmed to make it work, no matter who your mother is. You will twist yourself into a pretzel to create some sort of attachment.
Particularly when the daughter is a mother herself. She needs to feel that mothers are special people, that they are infused with superpowers. Sometimes the daughter who is in the thick of mothering needs desperately to believe her mother was better than she was.
But the truth is….mothers are only people. People who have had disappointments of their own. People who, many times have lost touch with what is best about them.
Some are cruel, deeply flawed and pass down unspeakable harm.
Some are slightly difficult, never take ownership of their flaws or let you down in ways that are hard to get over.
You may ask yourself, am I doomed?
I would argue no you are not doomed. However, if you are like me and many I have counseled, I’d say there are two sand traps you might have fallen into.
As Daughters of Narcissistic mothers, trapped in the role of the “good daughter” we might feel we have only two choices- force ourselves to be grateful for what you got from mom or stand angry, accusatory and feel forever broken.
Neither stance is helpful and here is why-
This keeps you stuck in either denial or anger.
Here’s how this looks-
1. Deny that mom is hurting you and force yourself to focus on the positive.
She is your mother after all.
By making her right when she is hurting you and making you wrong – you protect mom at your expense.
The problems with this are two-fold.
A) the feelings are repressed and don’t go away. The dysfunction continues, you don’t get closer to mom only more enmeshed.
B) What you don’t pass back, you pass on acting in ways towards your own daughter that hurt her while you don’t see it.
2. Stay stuck in anger. Gather up evidence of your mother’s wrongdoing so that you will feel right by making her wrong. Blame all of your life’s problems on her and never move past the feeling of being a victim. You need her to be wrong for you to feel that you are right.
We can’t work through the feelings if we deny them or remain a victim of them.
So what can you do?
There is a 3rd way. This is the conscious way.
Your grief and disappointment around what you didn’t get from mom can serve as a portal to an expanded consciousness.
If you let it move through you, the feelings brought to the conscious level can open and tenderize your heart.
Then and only then can the power of the negative feelings fade away and you can start living your life for yourself.
*By opening to, and learning from what wounded you, can transform you and make you a more aware, more compassionate …… and a better mother.
You definitely are not doomed.
In fact, you can empower yourself by making conscious decisions about what to do with this grief you didn’t choose to feel.
Although this may at first seem counterintuitive, there is a way in which you can turn the feeling of being a victim of your difficult mother into conscious awareness that makes you a more compassionate person and a much better mother…. in some ways that daughters of normal mothers could never understand.
You tap into the vulnerability that makes us all connected and the kindness that heals us.
All of your relationships become more real.
When you are real, this gives your daughter permission to be real.
As you work to become aware of ways you have been harmed, set healthy boundaries and heal your heart, you elevate your consciousness, move through the stuck feelings and develop in yourself powers you never knew were there.
You are only a victim or a doormat if you choose to stay one.
And no, you are not just bitching about mom. You are growing in awareness.
As a conscious daughter, you didn’t choose this hurt. You can choose to transform and heal so much about your life.
This article originally appeared on http://daughtersrising.info Katherine’s sister site.