In On Leaving Your Mother, Part I, I addressed the concept of going no-contact from a narcissistic, or psychologically abusive, mother. Part 2 is about taking action.
I do not advocate grievance collecting, exacting revenge or nurturing hatred. None of those preoccupations is healthy or desirable. Rather, I hope to provide a path out of a relationship from someone actively opposed to your well-being.
This guide is not an ultimatum to use against flawed mothers. All mothers — and I am one, and a very flawed one at that — sometimes lose their tempers, occasionally impose their will, and frequently offer unsolicited advice.
In contrast, the narcissistic mother habitually diminishes her children, criticizes or competes with their accomplishments, and demeans them.
In a grotesque parody of motherhood, she unearths her children’s vulnerabilities in order to exploit them for the sole purpose of inflicting pain.
The narcissistic mother tells lies for sport, lashes out at her children in secret to avoid witnesses and consequences. If you dare stand up to her, she challenges your perception of reality.
Mine is a Catholic Christian perspective. As Christians, adult children of narcissists are often wracked with guilt, and stay in abusive situations far too long because of a misapplication of the commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”
I go into detail on the religious implications of the fourth commandment for Catholics (fifth for Protestants) here.
For religious people, a psychologically abusive parent is a conundrum of epic proportions. If your mother hasn’t already convinced you, you will convince yourself you are breaking commandments and are well down that slippery slope to hell. The guilt is unimaginable.