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Scapegoated Daughters of Narcissitic Mothers and Daughters

Posted May 24 2011 6:29am


We would expect that a child would feel safe in her home. This is not the case with a child who has been put in the victim role by her narcissistic mother. Narcissistic mothers are completely absorbed with themselves. Many of them have children to enhance their image of having a perfect family. The work of raising, nurturing and protecting one's child is expected and essential. The narcissistic mother often turns her daughter(s) over to babysitters or nannies when the child is very young, even an infant. She makes sure that friends and acquaintances believe that she is a devoted mother. She talks about her daughter, pretending that she is emotionally invested in her beloved child. This is not the case. If  one of her daughters has been chosen by mother as the special one, her treatment of this child is completely different. This daughter is privileged from infancy.Mother is fixated on this child who holds the promise of being a perfect replica of herself. Narcissistic mothers choose this special little girl for various reasons; physical beauty, mental brilliance, charm and magnetism that win people over.

Narcissistic mothers often rule the family. Father is present in name only. He is a fixture in his own house. Some of these fathers are workaholics and prefer to be away from home than to deal with the cold hard temperament of this woman to whom he is married in name only.

The narcissistic mother deals with her bubbling spring of rage by projecting it on to a daughter who has been picked as a scapegoat. This is often done unconsciously. It is not unusual for the victim to be a highly sensitive little girl. She has no defense against the ridicule, demeaning conduct of these highly disturbed mothers. This situation can become more traumatic if the narcissistic mother joins in with her narcissistic daughter in the taunting and humiliation of this child. I have heard from adult daughters scapegoated in this manner. There stories are heartrending. Many of them survive by entering the world of books, art, uses of the imagination. Some of them are fortunate to have a special friend whom they can visit often enough to take the psychological pressure off of them for short times.

Adult daughters who survive the narcissistic mother wars are incredible survivors. Many of them experience symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome and spend  years in the aftermath of these traumas and their efforts to heal. These individuals who have been through such a prolonged ordeal need our understanding and compassion. Many of them find their way to healing through finding support groups whose members  understand what they have suffered, participate in psychotherapy, work with healing modalities--gentle yoga, walking and sitting meditation, The better we understand the true nature of narcissistic mothers the better we are prepared to help ourselves if we have shared this life experience and to assist others who are in the process of healing from these highly pathological family constellations. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: and amazon kindle edition
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