Seriously. If you’ve spent your entire life wondering what you did to make your mum hate you, we can categorically say right here right now, without a shadow of a doubt, that you did nothing. You absolutely did nothing at all. You weren’t born bad, you didn’t put her through some horrific time as a child (and even if you did, that’s no excuse to treat a child the way your mum treats you) and you certainly were no different to any other hormonal, angst-ridden teenager giving their parents lip at every opportunity. Stop doubting yourself, stop blaming yourself, and stop torturing yourself. You are a good person, and no matter what you have been told, forced into thinking or manipulated into believing, the only reason your mum behaves the way she does is because of her. Her. Her own choices, her own personality, her own beliefs and her own warped sense of importance and grandeur. Not you, her.
You will probably have spent your whole childhood wondering why your mum treated you that way, why she constantly belittled you, made you feel as though you were in inconvenience to her and her life. Her words and actions will have saddened you, hurt you and scarred you for life more than likely. You may have even been subject to physical abuse; kicks, slaps, a dig in the ribs here and there. You may have come home to find your bedroom trashed, your clothes in the bin, your belongings broken or damaged in some way. You may have been left at home alone for long periods of time while your mum went about her day. If you have siblings chances are they weren’t treated the way you were, and they would have gone out with your mum for the day. You will have been isolated, alienated, ostracised. And none of it, none of it at all, was your fault. You will have still wondered though, because as child you have no concept of things such as narcissism. You may have even thought that what was happening to you was normal, that every household had a ‘bad’ sibling and a ‘good’ sibling, and that you were quite obviously the bad sibling. You may have thought that it was just the way life goes, and that you must have done something you weren’t aware of, or something you forgot about that made you the naughty child of the family. But again, you didn’t. You didn’t do anything. Believe us.
As a teen it will have probably gotten worse for you. You will have spent a lot of time alone in your room, with your mum shouting you from downstairs or striding into your room unannounced, sneering at you that dinner was ready and that you were to come downstairs. If she was feeling particularly vicious, she may have not called you down to eat at all, and the first time you get an inkling that dinner is on the table is when you hear the sound of cutlery on crockery. See? That’s not you, that’s her. Even the child who has been caught smoking behind the bike sheds at school gets dinner. You don’t not feed your children. But the narcissist mother is petty, snide. She doesn’t see it as starvation, she just sees it as another way to make you feel stupid and look stupid in front of the rest of the family. That’s how she gets her kicks, amongst other things.
As an adult these things will still no doubt haunt you. You’ll have difficulty forming relationships with others, and not just romantic ones. You will struggle with professionals such as doctors, teachers, co-workers, managers, hell, you’ll even find it hard to talk to the lady at the council when you fall behind on your council tax payments, because you feel stupid and inadequate. Just let us say, that we’ve been there, so you’re not alone on that one. If you do end up falling in love and embarking on a relationship, no matter how wonderful the person is, you’ll still struggle to open up, to let them complement you. You may even struggle sexually too. Having a narcissistic mother affects every single fibre of your being, and even when you find the strength to cut her off and you complete your counselling and you do the therapy and the healing, she never fully leaves you. She’s there waiting for you to fail, and even if you haven’t seen her or spoken to her in twenty years, the second you make a mistake – and who doesn’t? We’re all human, right? – there she is, telling you she told you so, telling you she did say you weren’t clever enough to pull that off, that you are indeed, pathetic and useless. If you have children of your own it only intensifies, and we will discuss that at extreme length in another article.
The bottom line is, none of it was ever and is ever and will never be your fault. You are not bad. You were born to someone who should never have really had children, and yet here you are, brought to life by someone who has no intention of raising or loving you through no fault of your own. It’s horrible, the thought of being brought into this world when you were never really wanted, and yet you must congratulate yourself because if you’re reading this, it means you survived. It means that despite having no guidance, no nurturing, no support, no love, no anything, you survived and you’re alive and you’re reading this and you are on your way to your journey into recovery. It’s incredibly difficult to be a human without instructions. It’s that simple. That is the bare bones of what has happened to you. You are expected by society to be a fully functioning human being and yet nobody has shown you how to do that. Girls and women with loving mothers take it for granted that they know how to pay a bill, how to put eyeliner on, how to get dressed for a date, how to make a friend, how to handle something unpleasant. You had to learn all of that on your own, and maybe you’re still learning stuff like that, but let us tell you this; you’re doing great.