A TAR Tale by Daryya


I grew up with a narcissistic mother. Up until my father was present, she used to celebrate Christmas, Easter, birthday’s and attend many child-friendly events. Unfortunately, my mother did all in her power to cut contact between me and my father.

Now, years later when I am finally grown-up is— I don’t speak to my mother and I have  reconnected my father. When I  was a child my father did all that he could to take her into his custody and provide her with a better life. But unfortunately, the brutal truth is — courts in the Western parts of the world prefer mothers over fathers.

The last birthday I  celebrated with her father was when I  was 9 years old, since then my mother has made no effort to celebrate my birthdays. She usually made an excuse such as:

“Your father is not paying me enough so therefore we won’t be celebrating anything from now on…”

The funny thing is that my parents separated when I was an infant and since then my mother had over 6 relationships. Yes, I had had too many stepfathers. Somehow, even with the support of the stepfather, her wider family, her mother’s job my  mother was unable to buy me  a present or just take me out to a cinema. 

My mother had all the resources to provide me  with a “semi-happy” childhood, instead, she focused on herself. And that’s what narcissistic mother’s do. They think only about themselves:

  • They lack empathy.
  • They are self-centred.
  • They are passive aggressive.
  • They gaslight and guilt-trip you.

My mother was always also very jealous of me. Jealous that my father could provide and give me more than she can. So instead of promoting the relationship, she tried to erase him from her life. By doing so she destroyed my childhood.

During my adolescence, I developed various mental health issues and had severe troubles socializing with others. I believed that love is conditional. I had many toxic relationships when I  was a teenager. I already had my first “boyfriend” when she was just 12. I constantly sought love, approval from others. The boys used me a lot and I was bullied at school.

When I  was 13, I  was slapped by one of my  “boyfriends” after not wanting to give him a blow job. Later, he spread rumours about me — and I was known at school as a “whore”.

You see, because of her narcissistic mother I became a “people-pleaser”, I lost my own sense of identity. After all those years in my mother’s care, I had to meet the needs and wishes of my mother first, and in order to receive “attention”.

For years I battled (and still am) with insecurity. I neglected my own needs and wishes: I  was talented at painting — she stopped; I was a good swimmer, my father taught me — but my mother never took her to swim; I wrote stories and poems — my mother ripped them to pieces.

I felt like I was a burden to others and that I DON’T deserve to be loved and cared for. At times I was suicidal and started self-harming myself when I was 12.

All this neglect, emotional and psychological abuse has made me question everything, everyone around me. At times I avoided people just because I was scared of losing people — so why even create attachments — when everyone is likely to leave me anyway?

On other occasions I chased everyone to be my friend, to play with me, comfort me and ultimately love me. 

I was unable to speak my mind, nor form an opinion of my own. All of my opinions were my mothers. If I challenged my mother, love would be withheld, so naturally, I  would do almost anything in order to be loved.

I undergone several therapies and am  currently living in the same town as my biological father, far away from my mother. But I haven’t  healed yet. As an adult I often feel:

  • Not good enough.
  • Scared to speak up my own mind.
  • Worried what other people think of me.
  • I have anxiety, depression and eating disorder;

There are too many mothers out there like this — abusing children. They are hard to spot because, in public, they act as other parents do. But as soon as the curtain falls — they show their real faces. And as a child you don’t have many choices: you can either fight it or surrender.

I left my mother when I was 18 years old to live with my father. I am healing now, but very slowly. I am catching up on everything that I have lost because of my mother.

Adults who were raised as children by narcissistic mothers don’t just get over the abuse. It takes years of strong family, friends and therapeutic support to help them heal and learn healthy behaviours that will help them eliminate the insecurities. And it is possible! I know it is and I will make it.

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