I wanted to share this book with you today as it contains so much insightful information on the relationship between narcissistic mothers and their daughters. In “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” Karyl McBride shows an in depth and sympathetic understanding of what daughters of narcissistic mothers go through and also the effects that their upbringing can have on their adult life. This is a book that I would definitely recommend if you believe that you have a narcissistic mother, this book would also help someone with a smothering/enmeshed or neglectful/ignoring mother.
McBride will also help you to gain an understanding into why you make the choices that you do in your adult relationships. As I have mentioned in previous posts, if we do not heal the inner child, we continue to make decisions that are unconsciously being led by the inner child in the hope of protecting itself and preventing any further pain. Below I have shared some of my favourite quotes:
- The engulfing mother tries to dominate and control every aspect of her daughter’s life. She makes all the decisions and pressures the daughter on what to wear, how to act, what to say, what to think, and how to feel. Her daughter has little room to grow and blossom individually or to find her own voice, becoming in many ways an extension of her mother. Engulfing mothers often appear to be great moms. Because they’re very involved in their daughters’ lives and may always be doing things for them and with them, others outside the family often view them as active, engaged parents. Yet, the weakened self-image and the sense of unworthiness their daughters take away from this behavior are tragic. Narcissistic”
- “One sister may internalize the message and say, “Okay, I will show you what I can do and how worthy I am” and become an overachiever and a perfectionist. The other sister may internalize this message of inferiority and give up, feeling that she can’t make the grade anyway; she becomes an underachiever or engages in some kind of lifelong self-sabotage.”
- “. . . when a mother shares adult concerns with her daughter, a healthy dependence becomes impossible; the daughter feels insecure and alone because she has no parent on whom she can depend.”
- “Sometimes being a supportive friend to her mother is the only way for the daughter to get positive strokes from Mom. The daughter may fall into the friend role willingly, not even realizing there is something terribly wrong with the arrangement until much later in life.”
- “Typically, the daughter of a narcissistic mother will choose a spouse who cannot meet her emotional needs. Even though our intuition will tell us in some way when something is not right for us, we tend to block it out if it isn’t saying what we want to hear. When the hope for love blossoms, we override the intuitive inner voice or gut feeling. Years of treating and interviewing daughters with maternal deprivation have shown me that we have a deep sense of intelligent intuition, but it seems to be accompanied by a special brand of “deafness.” In the desperate search for love that did not exist in her childhood, the daughter chooses not to pay attention to the red flags that may be waving. We do know. We just don’t listen. In”
- “A narcissistic mother sees her daughter, more than her son, as a reflection and extension of herself rather than as a separate person with her own identity. She puts pressure on her daughter to act and react to the world and her surroundings in the exact manner that Mom would, rather than in a way that feels right for the daughter. Thus, the daughter is always scrambling to find the “right” way to respond to”
- “Narcissists commonly cut people off and out of their lives due to their shallow emotional style of seeing others as either good or bad.”
I would love to hear your thoughts if you have already read this book, or if there are any other books that you would recommend to daughters of narcissistic mothers.