Effects of being raised by a narcissistic Mom, what now?

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Mia2017

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Effects of being raised by a narcissistic Mom, what now?
« on: April 03, 2018, 08:35:49 AM »
For the last couple of years, I have already had a suspicion that my mother was a narcissist, but now I know for sure.

At the beginning of the year, I spent a couple of weeks in a clinic doing inpatient therapy. Depression was very bad at the end of last year accompanied by insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety and constant nervousness.

The therapy time was an eye opener for me. Almost all my life, I thought, my problems came from growing up with an alcoholic father and my mother has always blamed all problems on him. I always believed her. Since childhood, there was only her. She always told my brother and me not to trust anyone with good or bad information, because either people were envious or they were malicious. When we visited extended family, my mother made sure, we did not tell anybody anything. Everything was great, my Mom was a successful business woman with intelligent children, who are doing well in school. It was only to keep our appearance and we obeyed. Suffering from a chronic illness as a child, I was even more dependent from my Mom. She gave me my medicine when I was sick, but did not motivate me to help myself. My brother and I grew up very dependent from my mother. She told us, what to wear. As a young adult, I wore clothing, that I would not even wear now being much older. I did not have friends, I did not go out when I was a teenager. My Mom told me that I were a whore when going out with other teenagers.

However, she was very interested in my career. She told me what to become, even though that was not my interest. I forced myself to get through and thought hardship and suffering was normal. I even stayed on the career path afterwards and completed academic studies. I did very well and earned a lot of recognition and praise from teachers and professors which made me thing, I liked the career after all.

After college I moved to another city to start working. I was lucky, because even though, work did neither interest me nor was I especially good in it, my work colleagues became a family for me. I had fun for the first time. But repeatedly, everything broke down. When restructuring in the company "destroyed" my family, I was devastated and became depressed. In the years to follow, that cycle repeated itself several times in different settings. Also in relationships, I always took the guys with personality disorders or such who mistreated me. Finally, after a big spell of depression and exhaustion, I quit working in the field that my mother liked, but unconsciously, I felt very guilty. Today I know that this guilt sabotaged my development in the direction of my true interest. For the last couple of years, while trying to get a freelance career started, I have been working part-time for an organization, which was great in the beginning, because there was the family feeling again, but then, everything broke down. Over a year ago I went NC with my FOO, after my Mom had emotionally blackmailed me very intensely and I just could not take it anymore. At the same time, my freelance work customer organization, which also was like a family for me broke away and the other organization, for which I work part-time has been undergoing big changes and also broke away as a substitute family.

That was it. I felt completely lost, which is now better after the therapy, but still I feel very much out of control and disoriented.

In the clinic I learned, that I suffer from what is sometimes called co-narcissism, a co-dependency from a narcissistic person. There are two types apparently according to a doctor, the regressive and the progressive type. And I fall under the regressive category. My mother had used my like a limb that needed to fit perfectly. For her, I was not separate person, but someone she controlled completely. During a family constellation therapy session I saw the picture that my Mom had a tight grip on my and put pressure on my shoulders. I could not escape.  After a while, my legs got so weak and I gave up and just leaned on her without trying to get away anymore. I find myself in that pictures, even though it was very hard to recognize that. I have been crying quite a bit, because this realization took away the last illusion of ever getting back a family which I so wanted.

Now it feels that my life has been shattered and I have to build it anew. This time it will be not my mother's life, but mine. I feel very insecure and often also very lost and wondering which way to pursue now. The programming of my mother is very strong. I have a behavioral therapist, but I am not sure, if she can help me the way I need it.

How have you progressed on your life after being aware of narcissistic abuse?






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Deep Blue

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Re: Effects of being raised by a narcissistic Mom, what now?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 09:59:01 PM »
That story seems very familiar to me.  At the beginning I felt liberated when I got away.  As time went on, I felt guilty, weak and lost.  Without someone telling me the path to take, I constantly questioned my own decision making.  Through the years I got better at doing for myself but I still catch myself trapped in the thoughts... what would they think... am i a screw up? De-programming these thoughts is a very long process.  At least being aware of it was a good starting point for me. I hope it is for you as well.  We all have our good and bad days... at least now we have a group to lean on during those rough days.  :grouphug:

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fighter

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Re: Effects of being raised by a narcissistic Mom, what now?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 03:45:39 PM »
Hi Mia, For me I have not progressed much, except that the awareness has been the progress. I am starting to recognize some of my behaviours as patterns that are normal for narcissistic abuse victims.  I am opening myself up to thinking about how I might like things to change. I am testing the waters a bit with having my own perspectives about things, and telling people when I do, and not getting caught up in negotiating own feelings with others (sometimes I find it is best for me not to reveal too much about what I think so that people don't get the mistaken impression that each point is up for debate). 

I so long for big changes, but there haven't been many. I try to relish in the small accomplishments. Even replaying situations in my mind where I have failed to assert myself successfully and revisiting how I could do it differently in the future.  And some days I reward myself by letting myself fail, even though it doesn't move me in the direction I want, but at least trying not to let myself get caught in the shame spiral of not always being able to assert myself.

I think there is a different, calmer person inside of me and I hope to meet her soon.