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.
6 thoughts on “Mother’s Day and Social Media Hullabaloo”
Thank you for writing about this. To give words to the thoughts i am having. The mothers should not give a childhood that a kid may need to recover from. And yes, if we are betrayed at a crucial stage by the person whom we are supposed to love, every believe seems shaken.
There’s something that has been bothering me for a while now and your post just triggered that thought. I am mother to a teen and an almost teen (pre-teen) I’d say. Day in and out I try to understand my children, but increasingly I feel that parenting failure is so so real. When I read posts like these I sit down to judge myself, sometime fearing whether I’m doing any of the above unknowingly. I read several articles on parenting and sometimes I feel there’s so under-equipped as a parent. It’s made me very unkind to my own self. At the end of it, I think even parents are humans, liable to make mistakes because they too are walking the parenting path for the first time. Yes, we must learn and be kind. But most of all we must be kind to ourselves. If as parents we are gentle and non judgemental towards ourselves, we will be the same towards our children. We also need articles from the pov of parents. Because parenting is very very tough. No matter what you do, you are always judged. And god forbid, if your decisions turn out wrong, you have a blotch to deal with for an entire life. I don’t know..maybe I’m just rambling. But I do think most parents try their best. Sometimes it just goes the wrong way.
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Thank you so much for this insightful comment. I am sorry it triggered you but I can explain. Yes, I agree that we also need articles from the POV of parents. However, what I tried to explain through this article is not the usual mother. The fact that you sit and introspect your parenting style shows that you are not one of the moms mentioned in this post. As a mother who all go through challenges and trials. We are judged, criticised, blamed..we take all that in our stride and move on. That is how parenting is supposed to be. But trust me there are moms who “abuse” their kids without an iota of guilt. I feel, it didn’t come across clearly in this post. I am speaking about a pathological condition called Narcissistic Personalty Disorder, and if your parents have that..trust me they can turn your life into hell. Making mistake is human, we all make..but being abusive to get your way is a different type. Those who have never met NPD cases would not be able to comprehend how cruel these people can be. I have so many case studies…Please understand this article is not judging the mom who is trying her best and learning through trial and error. This is specifically about NPD, as mentioned in the beginning. Maybe I need to write NPD in bold.
I completely get that Balaka. It’s just that sometimes when we are in a phase ourselves everything seems to be pointing at it. So it’s more about me I guess and not about the article. I just read it and went on a rant mode.
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I understand completely. I put up a disclaimer after reading your comment. I do not want any regular mom to beat herself after reading this post. I can feel you. I have also judged myself a lot but even though I make mistakes I know, I am sure I want the best for my kid and I am not a NPD mom.
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P.S. Don’t judge yourself, be kind, trust you are doing a good job. Had you been NPD, you would have never judged yourself rather passed the blame to someone else.
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