If the idea of Mother’s Day fills you with dread because your own mother tends to act compulsively like Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest”, understand you are not alone. With over 12% of the human population meeting diagnostic criteria for having full-blown personality disorders like NPD, HPD, BPD, and ASPD, that’s a lot of prospectively toxic parents out there hoping to have mini-me narcissistic and vainglorious children of their own.
Mothers who are narcissistic by nature and culturally encouraged to behave in ways that can only be described as Machiavellian and anti-social are typically the worst breed of parent. Willing to sacrifice the best interests of their offspring for their own vanity and attention-seeking needs, women who rule the roost with an iron fist and fail to validate their own children’s fundamental human rights are truly the parenting menaces all fairy tale stories of twisted family dramas are made of in spirit form.
In the Psychology Today article titled “When Mother’s Day Hurts“, the trusted self-help resource writers point out that not all mothers are good. Simply learning to accept the fact that a narcissistic or anti-social parent may not have a maternal bone in her proverbial body is almost impossible for children of such women — not because their kids don’t have a biological sense their parent is not likely to protect them but rather due to Flying Monkey insistence that Cluster B parents [simply BECAUSE the toxic parent hatched them] must in some way at least love their biological kids.
To the child of a toxic parent, hearing that their Abuser “loves them” is one of the sickest, most cruel, heartless, and abusive things a “friend”, family member, or therapist could say.
Without knowing the facts of a person’s childhood or factoring in that most Cluster B people elect to breed for utilitarian and social status reasons, telling the child of a monster that they are loved by a parent virtually guarantees their social, emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual destruction.
In most families, parents love their children. Arguably in 80% of families, mothers and fathers are equally willing to protect their offspring from harm, the parents will strive to do their best to create a better life for the family specifically for the sake of the children.
They will strive to properly socialize all offspring by teaching them habits and life skills that will allow them to become helpers and healers in the community (rather than “hurters” and “takers”).
In homes where a single parent (like a mother) is toxic, the relationship dynamic is skewed. Some children are thrust into the position of Golden Child [able to do no wrong, raised to act like Veruca Salt in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”].
Others are treated as if they are Cinderella, taking scapegoat target assaults each day from both the “Evil Stepmother” character as well as conformist siblings who engage in sibling rivalry battle royales at almost ever family social gathering while they mob actively with delight.
Honoring such a mother figure who would allow her children to be over parented, under-parented, subjected to ridicule, forced into living a life controlled by toxic shame and capitulation… can be difficult at best for any child or adult child. The more extreme the mother’s personality disorder, the more likely holidays and other memorial events are to feel like a dreadful, annually repeating nightmare.
The article in Psychology Today states, “As the avalanche of greeting cards and obligatory sentiments that make up Mother’s Day fast approaches, adult children of narcissistic mothers will be taking a deep breath, waiting for that second Sunday in May to turn into Monday morning. Somehow, buying the card that declares ‘The Best Mom in the World’ is just another act of denial. While struggling with the card purchase, many men and women will also be triggered by thoughts of unloving and emotionally detached mothers.”
Noting that the desire to have a loving mother oftentimes causes the child of an unloving parent to rely on cognitive distortions told to them by other people to define what love means truly highlights the importance of a public need for Cluster B personality awareness training.
A parent with NPD or ASPD is likely to have a functionally diminished capacity to “love” their offspring. Most — for social reasons — will claim to love their children and will go through the bare minimal motions of caring for them as their parent.
If someone with a Cluster B personality disorder harbors a deep level of psychiatric dysfunction coupled with attachment-related disorders, they are likely to be terrified of being left alone. For that reason, many have children and strive to create mini-me replicants. Guilty of helicopter parenting to the point they actually under-parent their own children while demanding their right to overindulge them, they strive to win or buy a child’s affection or loyalty.
Sadly, many such narcissistic moves by parents socially and emotionally end up crippling the child years before they are fully grown. The effects of having been raised by a toxic mother who shows favoritism for one or all of their children at the expense of other family member’s rights or the greater community is the root cause of all Somatic Narcissism that presents in adult form.
Again, the more extreme the personality disorder of a toxic mother, the more likely she is to raise children who show early childhood warning signs of developing Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Children with ODD tend to develop their core personality dysfunctions between the ages of birth and age 4, followed by the onset of NPD between the ages of 18 and 28, almost unavoidably.
If you are an emotionally sensitive child of a toxic parent, however, another typical personality type forms. People Pleasing is an art form typically taught to children of toxic parents — not by the parent, but learned as an independent study by the child as an act of survival. Learning from infancy how to avoid abuse or to take it without breaking is a skill unique to the children of the most toxic mothers.
Kids of mothers who suffer postpartum disorders are the most grievously psychologically affected. Some mothers simply fail to bond with their child, while others feel a lifetime of subconscious compulsion to do their own children harm.
Very few people discuss what it feels like to be the child of a mother that hates their own offspring biologically to the core. A handful will tell you what it feels like to have a mother who overshadows you at every turn, but those who are even less fortunate have typically lost their voice due to ignorant people’s insistence that a Cluster B parent loves them “in their own way”.
Cluster B people don’t LOVE the way a normal human being does. What they DO – do is have preferences of companions as Narcissistic Supply Sources.
To that end, if you are struggling to make sense of a world where you know in your heart your birth mother is a selfish monster who cares more about her own needs than that of any other human being (including her own children and grandchildren), stop driving yourself crazy. It is entirely possible for a human female to have a child and not behave maternally! What’s more, it’s entirely possible to have a dozen children and fail to bond with each and every one.
If your mother does not or did not love you, chances are on some intuitive, gut-instinct level YOU KNOW IT.
And guess what?
It’s both okay to know, survivable to feel, and if your parent had a Cluster B personality disorder or some other medical condition that rendered them functionally unable to bond with you accordingly, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.
It is not the end of the world to have the first person that loves or cares for you NOT be your parent. It is also unquestionably abuse for a person choosing to act like an ENABLER for your abusive or unloving parent to sit and try to convince you that your parent truly loves you.
If someone tells you, “She loves you in her own way…”, “She only wants what’s best for you…”, “She’s getting older and you only get one mom…” — seriously? RUN FORREST RUN.
That person, whether they know it or not, is spouting some of the most caustic, psychologically damaging, gaslighting, mistruths to you that they could possibly utter. They are invalidating, outright manipulating for their own personal needs emotionally, and absolutely are the LAST person you should take advice from when it comes to family, personal, or moral issues.
If someone approaches you and says they felt historically unloved or disliked by their parent or maternal role model, believe them. Stop telling them you are “sure” their mother loved them in her own way or that a child’s personality type is simply like oil and water with their mother’s.
If a child has been neglected or abused and grows up responding to having been socially conditioned accordingly, no one even KNOWS what that child’s personality would have been like. Why? Because their natural growth process was interrupted by an offending parent.
It is only with proper social validation of a child’s emotional, physical, psychological, and historical “memory” experiences that they can start to heal from abuse.
Whether this happens in childhood immediately after suffering trauma or not until years later in adulthood (typically after an abusive parent dies) that humans can start to find themselves as people. Truly, the impact of being raised by a MOMMY DEAREST stops their offspring from ever being themselves as people, as 24/7 they are only psychologically allowed to explore emotions and personal life experiences as they relate to the overshadowing of the negative mother figure.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of understanding on a primal level that your mother harbors you nothing more than platitudes with regard to goodwill, it’s a tough realization to come to accept without leaping to an errant conclusion there must be something wrong with you on a core level that makes you unworthy of her love or affection. If mom suffered a head injury playing in the yard when she was young, no matter how great her genetics used to be she might simply have a limited capacity to feel empathy — leaving some issue like her own TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) at the core of her (rather than your) failure to bond.
If you care enough to want your mother to love you, you have already formed a psychological attachment to her — or at the very least to the idea of having a human maternal figure. Your desire to have that sort of connection pretty much so rules out that you are functionally incapable of needing human affection.
Many toxic mothers never feel the need to show respect, love, or care to other human beings because they themselves don’t feel being treated lovingly is something they value. Oh, they do want to be treated like royalty — but that’s based on an expectation that their grandiosity entitles them to preferential treatment.
While loving people will reach out in a kind manner to another because it makes them feel good to engage in a reciprocal act of socializing, a narcissistic or anti-social parent will simply bellow until they have their own social, emotional, psychological, or physical needs met… giving absolutely no care, concern, or appreciation for having the opportunity to connect. They take, take, take with a GIMME GIMME social entitlement, one that seldom (if ever) strives to give back.
There’s a statement made in self-help circles saying takers may eat better, but givers always sleep better. Such is simply one example of a piece of bad psychology advice being promoted as “wisdom”.
Oddly enough, it’s the people who are without conscience who tend to take all they can get and sleep like babies after doing it. These are the love-hate relationships we form, noting that loving children strive to both love and “honor” their parents.
Honoring a mother on Mother’s Day who is toxic is a tough task for the most together adult children of toxic parents.
If you have gone “No Contact” or your mother is dead, take some quiet time during the day to do something fun or emotionally nurturing for yourself on Mother’s Day. Be the parent to your own inner child that you never had — make a list of all the things you like about yourself, write out a gratitude list of things you appreciate about your life, take yourself to the park to have some quiet time to enjoy nature in a quasi-social playground environment, or do something fun and time-consuming like heading out for ice cream with someone else’s kids as a free babysitting gift.
If you are in low contact with an abusive mother, use discretion. A simple card, a post on Facebook, and a promise to send a check, flowers, or to take her to dinner are the standard survival types. Even if giving time and money to your toxic mom seems unbearable, if you have to pacify her for the sake of ensuring peace in the family, understand that over-stressing about what to do or say is a waste of time. If you take her out to eat, she’s likely to be unhappy at the restaurant. If you get her a card and flowers, she’s going to want you to spend time doing chores instead. If you do manual labor on her behalf, either it won’t be right, it won’t be enough, or she will complain that you failed to bring her flowers instead.
No matter what, the right way to approach Mother’s Day is to trust your gut, think things through logically, and never get your hopes up that mom will ever love or appreciate you as her child. No matter what, understand that each time she fails to appreciate your efforts or to recognize that a very real human being is willing to do whatever it takes to earn her “approval”, SHE suffers a moral failure as a human being but more so as a parent.
Expect sick behaviors like triangulating, promoting sibling rivalry antics, and gross over-indulgences of her luxury needs to be demanded. Mommy Dearest is, at all times, desperately seeking to both remain in total and complete emotional, physical, and psychological control of others while obsessively grandstanding.
Her needs will be pervasively unmet and more important than those of all others. She demands irrationally and arrogantly while adult children raised to be seen but not heard are expected to leap without complaint or hesitation to strive to grant her satisfactory attention.
The Golden Child will be lauded for doing no wrong (even if and when they do nothing to please the parent whatsoever) while the targeted family scapegoat — typically the most sensitive and emotional of offspring — will do the most physical labor striving to please their parent. Scraps, if anything, are all that will be shown to whatever child of a toxic mother literally cares and tries to help or please them the most.
Expect whichever offspring is most like the abusive mother (by nature) to be respected by mom, while any child who shows loving or humanitarian qualities to be socially persecuted. God help the “rebel” child of the family — you know.. the black sheep who openly calls BULLSHIT as they see it.
Then, there are the “lost children” of toxic mothers… those typically thrown to the wolves at an early age. If you are a lost child, one who simply gave up trying but feels the continual loss, betrayal, and virtual abandonment of morals shown to you by an abusive parent, holidays like Mother’s Day can truly serve as triggering events leading to bouts of extreme sourceless anxiety or seasonal (holiday-related) depression.
Mothers are presumed to love their children and want what’s best for them. Evolutionary logic makes such a presumption seem reasonable MOST of the time.
Never confuse having been raised by a Cluster B parent — especially a Mommy Dearest — as having anything to do with the norm of average human social behavior. If a Cluster B parent fixates on you and will not leave you alone, the outcome tends to be far more tragic over the long term than if they had simply left you in a baby basket during infancy and abandoned you on someone else’s door.