Two broad categories of narcissistic mothers are the engulfing narcissistic mother and the ignoring narcissistic mother.
When you are engulfed, you are often put in the golden child role or the scapegoated role. When you are ignored you may be in the lost child role or, again, the scapegoated role. Sometimes, the narcissistic mom will switch between the styles. Below is a brief description of both.
Engulfing narcissistic mother: Even though an engulfing mother pries into your business, never leaves you alone, and believes you are an extension of her, at least it can show she might care.
As for an ignoring narcissistic mother, she is the complete opposite.
Ignoring narcissistic mother: She shows no interest in you and makes it apparent you’re not loved by her. You were never paid attention to by her and although she was physically there, there was no sense of emotional attachment whatsoever.
In fact, it might have seemed she was even annoyed that you were around, jealous of you soaking up any attention she believed she deserved.
If your narcissistic mother was of the ignoring variety, chances are she didn’t pay much attention to you when you were younger.
You were forced to care for yourself and were in charge of your own grooming, bathing, eating, and clothing habits. As a child, that is a lot to handle, especially if you were never taught how to properly care for yourself.
She may not have payed attention to what was going on in your life. If you got good grades, it went unnoticed. If you won the spelling bee, scored the game winning goal in your soccer game, or sold the most cookies in girl scouts, she didn’t even blink in your direction.
If those accomplishments did not benefit her, she didn’t care. If it was not all about her, then forget about it.
It can be seen as both a blessing and a curse to have an ignoring narcissistic mother.
Though you are hurt by her inattention, her emotional or physical absence can feel like a welcome respite in contrast to the engulfing narcissistic mother who is demanding of you and always in your business.
If she ignores you, then you don’t have to worry as much about her trying to take over all aspects of your life.
Both types of narcissistic mother can be abusive emotionally, but at least if you decide to cut off contact with her, chances are she will let you go, which is often better for you in the long run.
Either extreme can be exhausting, emotionally damaging, and take a major psychological toll on you.
The thing that can drive anyone crazy is having a narcissistic mom who believes she is a great mother. In her mind, she is doing all the right things and makes you feel ungrateful for questioning her parenting.
In fact, she may even think that she is better than most moms at what she does and that it is your fault if things don’t go right in your life. In reality, she doesn’t even pretend to care about you and what you do.
Ignoring narcissistic mothers under-parent to the extent that there is no guidance, support, or attention provided. You are invisible to her, a lost child. She may not treat her other children this way though.
She may have her favorite, the golden child, and completely engulf him or her to the point that they become enmeshed and you are ignored. This can switch at any time. One day, she may not even know you exist, and the next she won’t leave you alone. It is confusing for you and your siblings to never know where any of you stand with her.
If you don’t give her an adequate amount of narcissistic supply, she may ignore you as a punishment, thus scapegoating you.
She may “forget” your birthday or “forget” to pick you up from school to get back at you. You then may experience feeling the lost child role. Because her children are just objects to her, it is easy for her to dispose of her motherly duties and treat her children like old furniture.
There is a way to overcome this.
Set boundaries with her or establish a complete no contact policy. When you cut her out of your life, you open up the possibilities to healing the emotional wounds of having a narcissistic mother who did not care for you the way she should have. Be strong and firm with the boundaries you set and with time you can put a stop to the abuse.
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