Mixed feelings on Mother’s Day are common when you’ve had a narcissistic mother. Even the most malignant narcissist can appear supportive or loving when it suits his or her needs. As a child, you were likely to soak up that elusive supportive energy, believing it to be the much needed love you craved. Unfortunately, “love” is always conditional with a maternal narcissist. When you didn’t satisfy her needs, either through choice, naiveté, or chance, you may have felt the terrible absence of positive maternal support.
Sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers usually feel dread as Mother’s Day approaches. The card isle at the local drug and grocery store and even the email marketing for your favorite charity does their best to bring the day to your attention, lest you forget. For those who look for a way to express any sincere sentiment for the narcissistic mom, a long time could be spent. One comment on this blog expressed the wish for a Mother’s Day card that simply read, “Shame on you.”
There are three things you can do for your own self care that may help. Here are three tips my clients have successfully used.
Give Yourself a Break:
Today is a day to look at the healthy territory you have staked out for yourself in your adult life through good boundaries based on your own chosen values. What is one piece of your life you have carved out for yourself that is healthy?
Today is also a day to look at when you’ve had a “boundary failure” and either put up with too much from your narcissistic mother or have acted in a vengeful or angry way that you regret. Trust yourself. You are not a malicious person and you are doing your best. Forgive yourself if need be and spend that energy on moving forward.
Give Yourself a Reward:
Mom may never understand what you’ve been through but people in the ACON community do. You’ve had to mother yourself in many ways. Commit today to give yourself a treat that you will really follow through on within the week. This can range from calling an old friend that you think of but never find the time to visit, to planning a future vacation. Also, think of a reasonable tradition you can give yourself this day each year. One of my male clients always goes sea fishing with his family. A female client of mine replaces all of her towels for her bathroom. What rewards and traditions might you build for yourself that is nurturing to you?
Give Yourself Credit:
Take credit for what you’ve accomplished and hold yourself accountable for how you can improve. How have you taught yourself what your mother could or would not? In the present, what improvement do you want to hold yourself accountable for in the next year?
Happy Mother’s Day…you had to have done a good job raising yourself to get this far.
It’s our first Mother’s Day for this blog and I’m looking forward to seeing how we all grow this year. Thank you for being such an articulate and supportive community.
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