How to deal and cope with, heal and recover from a narcissistic motherQ I have a narcissistic mother and I’ve been in different types of therapy on and off for years. We touch on some things and I learn a new technique or ways of ‘re-framing’ something, but it doesn’t really help me in the longer term. Nothing seems to go deeper than an awareness of the problem and to suggest coping mechanisms to protect myself from my mother whenever I have contact with her. Why doesn’t all this therapy help me to really get over her and the way she still treats me?


A I suspect that it’s a case both of ‘one-size’ not fitting all (one way of therapy can’t work for everyone), as well as the therapists you have worked with lacking the professional (and perhaps personal) skills to enable them to work at a much deeper level with you.

For a psychotherapist to be fully empathic and effective it really helps if they’ve ‘been there’ themselves and come through it.

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How to deal with an abusive toxic motheQ Whenever I do or say something that my mum doesn’t like she gets upset and finds a way to punish me. I’m an only child, she was divorced when I was a baby, and I’ve never seen my dad. When I was little she hurt me by hitting and kicking me, and not letting me eat. Now I’m older she ignores me instead, and acts as if I don’t exist. I don’t set out to upset her (as far as I know) and I want to know why she does this and how to stop her from doing it to me. It seems so childish and cruel.

A Yes, it it cruel and childish behaviour – which gives a clear indication of how she protects her fragile ego from any perceived challenges, rejections or attacks.

She is trying to punish you by her refusal to speak with you, or acknowledge your existence. It is a cruel attempt to make you feel worthless, flawed and unwanted. That may be her distorted perception of you (and more likely of herself), but that doesn’t make it the truth!

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Toxic narcissistic mother expects her daughter to give her money awayQ When I was a kid my mum would take any money I had in my piggy bank – from my birthdays, odd jobs, babysitting, my paper round etc. If I mentioned it she went ballistic and shouted that I owed her my life and the least I could do was ‘chip in’ with the household bills (she was a single parent and I was an only child).

This made me really mad but there was nothing I could do except try to keep some money a secret. This has left me still being secretive about money with my partner.

What’s even more strange is that I keep giving money away to others who I think deserve it more than I do. I can see the link but it’s hard to give it up. I feel bad either way. My mum still expects me to pay for things for her and she gives me a sob story if I try to avoid doing so. She never did get married and is still single and alone, and is now in bad health too. It’s as if she’s still entitled to anything that’s mine – and she’s draining my life! What can I do?

A She reminds me of a child who feels entitled to what others have – and who hasn’t grown out of that fantasy! She seems narcissistic and self-centred – but I very much doubt she’d see it like that 🙂

You’ve already made the link between the past conditioning you’ve had around money, entitlement, paying your dues, and being generous even when it costs you too much. The next step is to break that association and create a different one, that serves you better.

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