I happened to think of the strangest thing recently…
All my life, I’ve known I never wanted to have kids. Also all my life, this has bothered my mother tremendously. She used to tell me I’d change my mind when I grew up, I wasn’t normal, etc. When I was I think about 16 or 17, it really bothered her I felt this way apparently. She was obviously disgusted with me, & said, “I should’ve made you babysit when you were younger. Then you would want kids.” Does this make any sense to you? It sure doesn’t to me.
My mother tried other things to make me want children. She gave me baby dolls as a child & a toy stroller (which I promptly used to push around my favorite sock monkey..) when I preferred stuffed animals & toy cars. She constantly pointed out pretty little girls or cute little boys when we were in public places, expecting me to agree with her. This only made me jealous, hurt & angry because she never praised my looks (or anything about me), then to add insult to injury, she ridiculed me for my feelings. Her control tactics never had the desired effect on me, although I did try briefly in my late teens to convince myself I wanted a baby. When I started dating a man who said he wanted children immediately, I realized I really couldn’t feel the same way at all.
There have been other ways my mother has tried to change me too. To this day, she likes to give me clothing that is her taste, not mine. She also offers to lend me CD’s from her music collection, even though she knows our tastes in music are vastly different. Even in restaurants sometimes she will strongly suggest I get something to eat when that something doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Do these behaviors sound familiar to you? Did your narcissistic mother try to change you as a child, or does she still now that you’re an adult? Please know that you are NOT alone!! I truly understand your pain & frustration! Not only is it maddening when she tries to change you, it is also yet one more way to let you know she believes you aren’t good enough as you are. The message she sends is that you need to change something about yourself to be acceptable to your narcissistic mother. The sad truth of the matter is that even if you changed into what she wanted, there would be something else she would want you to change next. Then something else. It wouldn’t end, because she never will be satisfied.
I have learned the only successful way to deal with this frustrating situation when it arises is to be calm, cool & collected while firmly sticking to my boundaries. I show no emotions (even if I want to scream), while saying something like “Thank you, but I don’t need any new clothes”. Better yet is offering no explanation at all, because, as we all have experienced, any information you give a narcissist can & will be used against you. For example, the music my mother wants me to listen to? When she offers to let me take a CD home, I just politely say “No thank you.” Then change the subject.
The especially important part of this is to show no emotion, because showing your frustration & hurt feeds the narcissist. If your narcissistic mother sees she has hurt you, she will continue to pick at you until you’re in tears. If she sees she has made you angry, then she will push you until you are raging at her, while she sits back quietly, acting like the innocent victim. By refusing to show emotions, you take away her opportunities to do such things.
Another important part of showing your mother no emotions is to hold them in only until you are away from her & can safely express them! Holding in emotions is so unhealthy, but unfortunately, doing so temporarily a necessary survival skill when dealing with a narcissist.