Disclaimer: This post specifically talks about moms who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Do not confuse it with regular moms who make mistakes once in a while. NPD moms are a different category. Unfortunately, many have suffered at the hands of NPD parents, spouses, siblings, bosses, and friends.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Thankfully, I am on a social media detox so could spare myself from all the hullabaloo that goes on surrounding mother’s day. Nevertheless, one post on my Whatsapp status caught my attention. One of my dear friends has a narcissistic mother. She was abused by her mom a lot. She wrote that not all moms deserved to be worshipped. Her post was thought-provoking.
These days, I am researching a lot about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (thanks to a couple of narcissists in my life). I have found that unlike popular belief not all moms are sacrificial goddesses. Some moms suffer from Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). I have seen my share of NPD moms who have ruined the lives of their kids. However, our popular culture doesn’t allow us to speak ill about our moms. Popular culture “gaslight” us and keep enforcing that a mom can never be bad. Even though research suggests otherwise. If all mothers are good then why do psychologists get to hear so many horror stories about childhood abuse? I think it is time people come out of the “closet” and speak about the trauma, abuse, or torture they have faced at the hands of their moms.
I am no expert on human relationships but I observe. And, I have seen BAD MOTHERS.
Would you call a mom who aborts her female child a good mom? would you call a mom who feeds her male child more than her female child a good mom? would you call a mom who forces her daughter into flesh trade a good mom? These moms may be extreme but there are numerous moms whose abuse is more subtle.
Social media has made it compulsory to post an ode to your mom on Mother’s day. Everyone is writing a long post telling the world how loving and sweet their mom is. But not everyone has good memories of their mom. These posts can trigger them. I lost my mom 24 years back and these posts make me miss my mom. I have a friend whose mom died 40 minutes after giving birth to her. She grew up motherless. I am sure this day makes her feel somewhat odd. My friend’s sister lost her 22-year-old two years back. This day must be making her feel miserable. There are many women trying desperately to have a baby through IVF. This day is not pleasant for them either. Thankfully, many people are sensitive and inclusive.
I am deviating from the main topic. The question is can a mom be a bad mom? YES. So many people around the world grow up with childhood trauma. Children raised by narcissistic and toxic moms grow up in self-denial. They develop low self-esteem and blame themselves for whatever goes wrong. Many of these children are not able to have healthy relationships. Some examples of toxic NPD moms are as follows.
The Flamboyant Mother: There is no harm in being flamboyant and extrovert. But kids often feel neglected. The mother is always busy being the center of attention. They are not even willing to share the stage with anybody. The mom keeps fishing for compliments and gets jealous if the child becomes more popular. They want the child to be like a showpiece who is good but not enough to steal the show.
Accomplishment Oriented: Most Asian parents probably fall in this category. The mother’s love is conditional. Only if you accomplish something she will show love. If you fail then she wouldn’t accept you. The mother will always favor the child that is successful and neglect the one that is relatively less successful. I have seen in my life many mothers who prefer their richer kids over their relatively moderate earning kids. These moms only want trophy kids.
The Psychosomatic: This mother will use illness to manipulate her kids. The way to get attention from this kind of mother is to take care of her. This kind of mother uses illness to escape from her own feelings or from having to deal with difficulties in life. You cannot be sicker than she. She will up the ante. I grew up with a mom who was sick forever. She had a chronic condition (she was genuinely sick and not faking). Trust me it is not easy to grow with a mom who is always sick. It robs your childhood. Imagine living with a mom who fakes her illness.
The Gaslighter: These moms will never appreciate you. They will always find fault in you and make you feel inadequate. They will compare you to themselves or other kids and make your achievements null. They will not accept you as the person you are. They will never acknowledge your emotions and feelings. If you are sad they will say that it is nothing.
Physically Abusive: Some moms are great at passing their burden on to their kids. If they are stressed they will use the kids as a punching bag. They get physically violent for the smallest reason. They love to terrorize their offspring. They are capable of giving harsh punishment. The kid grows forever traumatized.
Helicopter Moms: They are controlling. Try to control every aspect of their child’s life. These moms interfere in the married life of their kids also.
Victim Mom: The mom who always plays the victim. She will keep telling her kids how much sacrifice she has made to bring them up. Their sob story never ends. They make the child feel guilty. They play the victim as a form of manipulation.
If you can relate to any of the moms then it is perfectly fine not to feel good after seeing posts on social media about loving moms. It is okay to accept that not all moms are the epitome of virtue, kindness, and love. Some moms are manipulative.