(Narcissistic Mother? – Help from a Raleigh Therapist)

Did mom – cast shadows of doubt while appearing to support you?

Let me “spell” this one out for you.

 Did mom say one thing, but mean another.  Did she give you mixed messages?

Tell me, does any of the following sound familiar? 

“Yes, of course you look lovely, but wonder if that dress comes in a bigger size.”

 “I AM so proud you made partner-I just wish you didn’t have to work all those long hours and leave the kids with a sitter.”

“I’m SO glad you are trying to eat healthy, but can’t you start your diet after you have some of that cake I made just for you

 “Is THAT what all the girls are wearing these days? Of course you always look beautiful to me, but do you think its such a good idea to wear knits before you lose the baby weight?”

” And by ALL means don’t worry about me I’ll be just fine… here… by myself… all alone ….all day…”

Can you say double speak, subtext, HELLO mixed message!!!!

You don’t have to look further than the mixed message to see how this unconscious“spell”  of doubt is cast.

The comments from mom are first introduced as helpful and supportive so that you feel open to them.

Much like a baby bird, your mouth wide open, you eagerly receive what mom has brought to you.

Only after swallowing the message whole, do you gag on the barb hidden inside.

Does mom know what she is doing?

If she is Narcissistic or has Narcissistic traits, she may not be fully aware of what she is doing. This doesn’t make it hurt any less.

As you take in the insult, you are left wondering if mom knew how hateful she sounded. Could she have really meant to hurt you?

Did she design the comment to make you feel guilty? And, if she did, does she resent what she has done for you? Why else would she need you to feel guilty?

Does she want you to feel bad?

 She may have consciously wanted to be supportive, but resentment, jealousy or down right insecurity undercut the original support she offered.

She herself was most likely given mixed messages herself.

It’s down right crazy making.

You are left to wonder, “Is it me or is it her”?  – Whose fault is it anyway?

If you are the daughter, in the role of the Good Daughter, you feel torn. You want so very much to believe that mom is looking out for you. You want to trust that you and mom are on the same side.

So many of us know this pain.

Deep down, in your heart of hearts and your gut, you don’t trust it. You can’t trust it. 

The unconscious spell is passed down, mother to daughter, through the mixed messages of love and support that are laced with the poison of criticism and insults.

Hurt people, hurt people. As they say in therapeutic circles, what you don’t pass back, you pass on.

It hurts so badly….. but you need to get clear on this now. You owe it to yourself to break the spell. The only way to break the spell is to face that you were handed a mixed message that hurt. So many of us were handed these mixed messages that we now need to untangle in order to heal.

You can bring awareness to the telltale signs.

Get clear. Get conscious and embrace a new way. You can do better. Your daughter needs you to do better.

It is your turn and the time is now.

This article originally appeared on Katherine’s sister site.