To ask those with narcissistic (emotionally absent) mothers how you have ridden yourself of the feeling of constant inner emptiness?(13 Posts)
Posting for traffic. I'm 36 and discovered through therapy two years ago that my mother is a narcissist.
Since then the feeling of utter emotional emptiness has just been building inside me to the point that I now think about it constantly and it's affecting all aspects of my life.
I would love to hear stories from other people as to how or what you have done to free yourself from this feeling and truly heal.
I've had years of therapy which haven't worked, I've never been in a decent relationship as I only seem to attract narcissists, and I've just started sertraline.
I'm interested in more holistic and alternative therapies really but don't know where to start.
Please give me your stories. Even the ones that haven't worked will be useful.
That feeling wears off. You aren't really empty. Its just that you are so used to muting yourself and tuning in to Planet Narcissist that you cant hear yourself yet.
First thing to do is go for assertiveness training. Its like Kryptonite to narcissists.
Next go for CBT. See if they can help you identify a goal to work toward, and help you analyse your thinking patterns. If you cant find it where you live, google for Mood Gym. Its free online CBT.
Finally, find something you like doing, and a new thing you'd like to learn. Do those things and meet other people who also like them.
Congratulations on making your escape. It does get better from here on.
Someone once told me that the feeling you feel are your actual feelings and after years of not being allowed to feel them you can't handle them. Does that make sense?
You have to work through the them and acknowledge them.
FYI I eat and play on my phone - I'm not advocating that, well done on being further down the road than me.
Good advice about the assertiveness training and cbt! I will look into that.
And yes I know what you mean about not being able to handle my feelings as I've denied myself them my whole life.
Read a couple of books on the topic - can't recall the names off the top of my head but they're famous and recommended on here - and stopped talking to her.
Acceptance for the past and my past. Accepting that It cant be changed and choosing to move on.
Setting boundaries for myself and not letting people push them.
Realising that from now on, every choice and feeling is my own. That I am not a victim of my past or future. I am an active participant.
I have found that since becoming more comfortable with me, I am less of a narc magnet.
If you are thinking constantly, then would it be helpful to look in terms of the above? I was stuck in rumination for a long time because I felt helpless. It was only when I found acceptance and control that I was able to work on ordering my feelings and think in terms of my future and not my past.
Do you still have a relationship with your mother? If you do, it may be helpful to write down what your boundaries are going forward and how you will implement them. I have limited contact but it is mostly positive experiences. For my narc sister I went NC as she repeatedly pushed the boundaries.
Acknowledgement is Key! Emptiness is still a feeling/emotion.
Have a look at Parks Inner Child Therapy if you're near-ish a practitioner, and/or Penny Park's books if you're not x
Therapy has made a huge difference to me, but I think that's a lot about the relationship with the therapist.
I'm NC with family, and tend to focus on how far I've come. I had a lot of other women who can be used as a stand in for my mum if I'm desperate and now I just notice the feeling, accept it and do something to look after myself. I don't deny the feeling as I didn't find that helped.
OP, I'm curious about why you say your therapy hasn't 'worked'. What does that mean for you? I was in therapy for 7 years ( both parents are narcs) and it was by far the most painful thing I've ever been through, but also by far the best thing I have ever done for myself. In my experience, therapy isn't a linear process where you feel better and better and better and better until you are finally 'ok'. Having such an incredibly difficult start in life means that you learned some very damaging lessons, and part of therapy is helping you to understand that and to manage the legacy of your mother's behaviour.
I very much relate to your feelings of emptiness and I guess I have accepted that part of me may always feel it. I have a lovely partner and friends who care about me, but its not the same as being loved unconditionally by someone who will always put you first and always be there for you.
I found the website Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers incredibly helpful. Its very lonely being in our position and it helped to know that my parents' behaviour was an actual 'thing' and not just my warped perception of reality
OP I'm currently reading a book by Pete Walker called Complex PTSD: from surviving to thriving, I'm finding it really useful. Also if you search for Richard Grannon on YouTube there are some really good videos.
Take a look at the Stately Homes thread in Relationships, there are lots of useful links and plenty of us on there have gone through similar.
I always thought it was just me - my mum didn't love me, I did things to annoy her. I'm in my 20s now and finally realised after meeting DP, she is a narcissist and also very likely a sociopath. She's manipulative to everyone around her, extremely blunt, confident but stays holed up in the house. She treats my dad, siblings and I awfully - there's saying it how it is, and there's telling your 9 year old daughter she's fat ugly and worthless, and making her eat only salad for tea, sighing every time she comes in a room, ignoring her.
I found growing up incredibly hard and between 13 and 18 was extremely depressed, socially anxious, struggled with bulimia and binge eating and couldn't cope. Managed to get good grades because both parents were very pushy and was able to get into a very good university far from home. Within weeks I became a different person, made real friends and learned to be happy. The effects of all the emotional abuse have lasted and even now I find it very hard to trust that people can really like me for me, constantly hate my body and struggle with social anxiety. But it's so much better. DP and I are expecting a baby very soon and we're over the moon about it - my mother hasn't paid any interest but my dad is the opposite, very happy and loving and caring. I need to go NC with my mum really, for my mental health, and the sake of my own family - I refuse to let her do to my daughter what she did to me - but it's hard because it'd upset my dad so much.
I guess in answer to your post you never really get away from narcissistic parents, you just learn to understand that they are emotionally hollow, not nice people and its them, not you.
for everyone who has to deal with this shit, it's awful.
If you're interested in holistic therapies, yoga might be something? Yoga's been studied in a proper trial and found to help with complex PTSD which is a common condition in people who've been abused (by narcissists) as children.
In truth though, my answer to your question is "I don't know yet". It's a big question. As sleepyhay says, you'd be very welcome on Stately Homes where we're all trying to figure it out.
In case no-on has mentioned already look at the site Out of the FOG
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