Do narcissistic mothers hate/love their daughters?
Narcissism just does not work like that. It is popular for people to say that narcissists secretly hate themselves and project that onto others, particularly their children. The mechanism or purpose of narcissism is to protect the ego from emotional harm, which logically means that negative comments, assessments, and feelings directed toward them are deflected–even if it came from the self. Narcissistic mothers are incapable of knowing truths set in reality about who they are, how they behave, and what their impact is on others. Since a core sense of self is built with awareness of one’s strengths and limitations, they lack a core sense of self. As such, they are not capable of loving or hating the self–and without the ability to love/hate the self, they are not capable of loving or hating others.
Narcissistic mothers have a different reality for interacting with others. For most of us, social bonds are made and strengthened through emotional intimacy–you share stories about who you are that include your triumphs and your failures. You build more meaningful relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners by engaging in and resolving conflict to strengthen your way of loving and having compassion for one another. Narcissistic mothers (all narcissists, actually) view every social interaction as an exchange of power. Their filter alerts them to you taking power from them or giving power to them. Since you view the interaction through your healthy lens for relationships, their reactions in these conversations can be confusing and unpredictable. The underlying pattern is that you feel loved when they reward you for giving them power and feel hatred when they punish you for taking it away.
Most importantly, narcissistic mothers’ incapacity to love has no bearing on the fact that you are and always were worthy of the unconditional love, compassion, and nurturing that is only healthy to receive from the parent-child relationship. You deserved a parent who loved you always, guided you with gentle reminders, and gave you permission to take up space. You deserved a parent who showed you that you are not only worth being soothed, but demonstrated how so you could learn to self-soothe. The fact that you survived your childhood means you are a badass that has the strength and determination to heal. Please know that you are not alone.
Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health treatment. It is important for survivors of abuse to find mental health professionals who understand trauma and abusive relationships. Please seek support from trusted and trained practitioners. This content is not meant to be used by anyone as diagnostic criteria. Permissions have not been granted for anyone to utilize this material as a source to make allegations about specific individuals. Any online content produced by Michelle Minette and F! All That Wellness Coaching is an educational discussion about narcissism which is a descriptive term for tendencies and behavioral patterns. Individuals with narcissistic features or tendencies do not necessarily meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. The terms narcissistic and narcissism are used as descriptions of tendencies and behaviors and are not meant as clinical terms.